8:06am Thursday 3rd May 2012
HEAVY rain and strong gusts of wind have battered the Vale and Cotswolds for several days, causing misery for motorists and putting residents on flood alert.
Hereford and Worcester Fire and Rescue Service was called to numerous weather-related incidents, most of them taking place on Sunday after the heavy rain and high winds overnight.
Cars were stranded in flood water and roofs were damaged by high winds which also felled trees, blocked roads, damaging property and affected power supplies.
About 200 trees were felled in Worcestershire including one in Church Lench which affected electric cables, and another in Bredon, which was toppled near the playing fields.
Eckington Bridge was closed on Monday along with Fladbury’s Jubilee Bridge, while heavy rain caused the Avon to burst its banks and flood Workman Gardens in Evesham.
Jonathan Fraser, Worcestershire County Council's customer and community manager, said: “Instances of localised flash flooding are possible on roads due to the heavy rainfall we've had so far and continue to experience.
“We would advise people to be extra-vigilant when out travelling in wet weather. If you are travelling on the county's roads please remember to drive with caution and take extra care, particularly by allowing extra distance for braking and reducing speed in wet conditions."
The Environment Agency put the river Avon on flood alert between Salford Priors and Tewkesbury which means flooding is possible, but not expected.
Eckington resident Heather Thomson had to take a lengthy diversion to get to work due to the bridge being impassable.
“It’s very frustrating,”
she said. “Lots of extra people go through the villages and it’s probably quite a nuisance for people who live in Great Comberton.
It happens every time there’s an extra heavy downpour.”
Meanwhile in Gloucestershire, police received more than 60 reports of trees down and localised flooding due to the high winds and heavy rain in just 24 hours on Sunday.
Batsford Arboretum had to close as 40mph gusts of wind meant it was too dangerous for visitors with the risk of falling tree branches.
Stuart Priest, director of operations, said that closing in April was unheard of. “It’s only in extreme cases we shut,” he said.
“We’ve only closed once in the last 12 months. It’s knocked trade big time.”
Gloucestershire County Council put chainsaw teams into action to clear fallen trees in many parts of the county but they say there have been very few instances of flooding. Gloucestershire Fire and Rescue Service held an exercise in Tewkesbury on Monday to practise mobilising, launching and search and rescue in a realistic situation, with rivers higher than usual. Both the Severn and Avon have high flow and are out of their banks in some areas. All rivers in the county are on ‘flood alert’ or lower. Councillor Will Windsor- Clive, cabinet member for communities, said: “Gloucestershire County Council is working closely with the Environment Agency to monitor the current river levels and weather forecasts. “We have arrangements to support the community if the situation worsens and serious flooding occurs.” A missing Tewkesbury man was found safe and well after police received reports from a member of the public of a man shouting in a flooded area. The 24- year-old was found by police at Back of Avon, in Tewkesbury, at about 11.45am on Tuesday.
© Copyright 2001-2013 Newsquest Media Group