HUNDREDS of thousands of pounds have been saved in insurance claims thanks to the installation of flood defences in and around the city, the area’s Environment Agency chief has said.
Dave Throup, Environment Agency manager for Herefordshire and Worcestershire, said the impact did not reach that of 2007 despite river levels topping those seen seven years ago.
“We’ve had 118 properties flooded that we know of in Worcestershire and if it hadn’t been for the flood defences it probably would have been four or five times as many,” he said.
“That’s no consolation to the 118 people that have been flooded but we need to try and work with them going forward to see if there’s anything we can do.
“The average domestic flood claim is about £30,000 so the fact we have got about 500 properties that have been protected, which would have been flooded, the figures start to stack up and prove it’s good value for money.”
Since the River Severn peaked at 5.69 metres on February 12, levels are back to normal but a huge clean-up operation is underway, with staff and equipment from neighbouring districts drafted in to help.
From last Thursday (February 20) road sweepers, jetters, pumps, Severn Trent and environmental health professionals were sent out to try and clear homes and businesses affected.
About 70 volunteers and staff were deployed in the operation and service manager for Worcester City Council, David Sutton, said everyone was keen to get the city back to normal as quickly as possible.
“We’ve got lots of different agencies involved and people have got all sorts of different needs,” he said.
“We went and did some shopping for a lady who was running low on food, last week, and just needed that bit of assistance. It’s a very simple thing but we were able to pop out and help the community.
“Our operational resource has now kicked off in some force and we are helping the house holders and as the river goes down we are getting all those public spaces nice and clean so people can start to use them again.
“For some of the house holders things are going to take a long time to get their properties repaired and dried out, that’s the nature of the damage, but certainly all the agencies are working together to get things back to normal as quick as we possibly can.”