HEAVY rain has caused wide-spread disruption and prompted road closures but multi-million pound flood defences appear to have held.
Upton-upon-Severn bore the brunt of conditions with around 37mm of rainfall recorded between Thursday and Sunday (January 2 to 5) recorded at the nearest weather station in Pershore.
The Environment Agency issued two flood warnings in the town, the first at the River Severn near Hanley Castle at 9.30pm on Thursday (January 2) and the second at around 2am the next morning near Hanley Road.
Yesterday (Tuesday), the water level was recorded at 4.88 metres and falling slowly, but residents were warned it could rise to 5.10 metres today after more expected rain.
Worcestershire Highways closed Hanley Road and New Road during the period and placed several bus routes between Malvern to Upton and Upton to Worcester on their standard flood timetable.
Highways officers were also forced to shut off Stocks Lane in Newland overnight from New Year’s Day to Thursday (January 2) following 11.8mm of rainfall the previous day.
On Friday fire crews were called to a fallen tree in Castlemorton Common which affected power lines and blocked off part of Gullet Quarry Road.
The police and BT engineers attended the scene which was left in the hands of highways officers who had to call in a tree surgeon.
Several roads in and around Ledbury have also been affected in recent days.
Herefordshire Council issued warnings for a dozen routes in the area and police were called out a number of times to rescue stranded motorists.
The A417 between Ledbury and Gloucester Road, stretches of the A449 from Ledbury to Colwall Road and in Much Marcle were all declared ‘passable with extreme care’, as were the B4218 Walwyn Road to Colwall route, Brookmill Close in Colwall and Tanhouse Road in Upton Bishop.
West Worcestershire MP Harriett Baldwin visited flood defences in Upton and Kempsey on Saturday (January 4) which were among a £9 million Government investment in 2010.
She thanked Environment Agency staff for their ’round the clock efforts’ and said she would be working to ensure front line services would be protected during any future savings to the agency.
Mrs Baldwin added the Water Bill was being progressed in Parliament this week which would ensure flood insurance will be widely available and affordable.
“I am pleased that new flood defences across West Worcestershire are working correctly and protecting hundreds of homes and businesses.
“This is the second year in a row staff have had to work day and night in dreadful weather conditions and I know that local people whose homes are protected by defences are grateful for their efforts.”