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29th Jun, 2022

Residents rescued in Worcester as river levels rise

Worcester Editorial 12th Feb, 2014 Updated: 19th Oct, 2016

DOZENS of residents have been evacuated from the centre of Worcester as flooding continued to cause major problems in the city.

Emergency services were called to South Quay at lunchtime to rescue about 50 people from flats as the River Severn rose to just a centimetre below the record levels seen in 2007.

And there are fears with the water set to rise even further overnight following today’s heavy rain, more homes surrounding the river could be at risk.

The University of Worcester has also decided to cancel all its classes from 4pm today and all day tomorrow (Thursday).

Several key routes in the centre are closed including Worcester Bridge, Hylton Road, A44 North Parade, Castle Street and Croft Road.

The Worcestershire Silver Tactical Co-ordinating Group, made up of numerous agencies including the county and city council, Environment Agency and emergency services, met again this morning to discuss plans to tackle the situation as it continues to escalate.

New Road cricket ground and the University Arena are also closed until further notice and a shuttle bus, which is currently transporting people over the bridge, could stop running later today as the floodwaters continue to rise.

Huge tailbacks have also been reported on the southern link road which is now the only route into the west of the city.

Despite all the issues around the river, traders are once again reminding people the rest of Worcester is still open for business.

Worcester’s MP, Robin Walker, rushed back to the city on Sunday night when it was announced river levels could top those seen seven years ago.

“This has been a very worrying time for my constituents and for businesses in Worcester who have suffered major disruptions from road closures, extra traffic and reduced footfall in the city centre,” he said.

“Of course such problems are only minor compared to the devastation that is suffered by people whose homes or businesses are flooded and I am grateful for the enormous hard work of the emergency services, local councils and the Environment Agency in protecting people from flooding to date.

“So far Worcester’s flood defences have performed well and hundreds of homes have been protected but with the river rising again, it is a worrying time.”

“I am very proud of all the shops, restaurants and small businesses that have stayed open through all of this and they deserve the full support of local people.

“It is important to stress that even when the riverside is flooded, Worcester’s High Street is well above the water level and even where there are some roads closed, visitors are very welcome in most of the city centre.

“Worcester remains open for business and most parts of the city will continue to do so whatever happens with the flooding.”

For the latest flood warnings log onto www.environment-agency.gov.uk and visit www.metoffice.gov.uk for weather warnings. The county council website at www.worcestershire.gov.uk has all the latest road closures, transport disruption and school closures.

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