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The latest on the floods
Updated 8:56pm Sunday 16th February 2014 in News
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- The pedestrian shuttle is open in Upton linking Marina Road to Upton town, operating during the hours of daylight
ROAD CLOSED SIGNS - matters not if you know the Chief Constable, someone in the CID or pay our wages! Closed for your safety! #floodaware— Supt Kevin Purcell (@SuptNorthWorcs) February 15, 2014
4:12pm Sun 16 Feb 14
Good work done by all at Worcester lets hope bridge open in the morning, now to get Upton back to normal. Fingers crossed
Flood fun by Alec Foster. More pictures at www.facebook.com/theworcesternews
THE pictures below show members of the West Midlands Ambulance Service’s Hazardous Area Response Team (HART) wading out to houses that have limited access due to their homes or neighbourhoods being flooded.
The ‘safe and well’ checks not only ensure the public’s safety and general welfare but it also provides residents the opportunity to raise any health concerns they may have. The photos, courtesy of the the ambulance service, show teams travelling by boast in the flood water in Worcester and wading out to homes in Severn Stoke.
Big efforts now on for next 24 hours to get the road system through Worcester open for morning rush hour.— Supt Kevin Purcell (@SuptNorthWorcs) February 16, 2014
Good news - Worcester bridge should be fully open (i.e. no restrictions) by tomorrow rush hour— James Connell (@JamesConnell8) February 16, 2014
FLOOD commanders met this morning and say Worcester bridge could be fully open by tomorrow morning as level levels fall.
At the moment there is still a lane closure on the bridge although two-way traffic is running.
Worcestershire Silver Tactical Coordinating group met this morning.
A number of agencies are involved, the Environment Agency, Worcestershire County and district councils, Public Health England, Worcestershire Health and Care Trust, Hereford and Worcester Fire and Rescue, West Midlands Ambulance Service and West Mercia Police.
Speaking on behalf of the group, Superintendent Kevin Purcell, Silver Group chairman, said: "Since last weekend, when we saw the flooding beginning to impact here, the residents of Worcestershire have been pulling together and helping each other out along with supporting their local businesses.
"Through the different agencies involved we too have been working as a team to keep people safe and the county moving and I would personally like to thank all of those involved so far.
"We have seen some great successes including the military shuttle truck operation in Upton-upon-Severn and the county council putting in place solutions to keep the traffic moving across the bridge in Worcester city centre.
"Current information from the Environment Agency shows river levels now not going back up to the peaks we have seen over recent days, albeit they may take a while to go back to the levels we normally see at this time of the year. With this in mind, we are looking to get the Worcester City Centre bridge fully open for Monday morning along with a number of other roads in the city centre.
"The Upton "Express" as it is becoming affectionately known will remain in place into early next week, until it is safe to pass without military assistance. Due to the danger of a serious traffic accident if Bewdley Bridge reopened whilst the barriers are in situ, that bridge will remain closed until the water level drops to one where there is no threat to properties and then the barriers will come down and the bridge will reopen.
We as a multi-agency team will continue to monitor the, what now appears to be, slowly improving situation very closely and will continue to keep you updated."
Have to agree with the comment from City Kid on the WN website. To be flooded is terrible to be flooded and burgled is a disaster.— James Connell (@JamesConnell8) February 16, 2014
Thieves have targeted the Severn View Hotel in Newport Street, Worcester, recently hit by the floods. Read the full story on the flood blog.— James Connell (@JamesConnell8) February 16, 2014
THIEVES who stole from a flood-hit Worcester hotel have been branded 'heartless' by a police superintendent.
The break-in occurred at the Severn View Hotel on Newport Street sometime between 8pm on Friday night and 4pm yesterday afternoon.
Some time during the time period in question, it appears that thieves broke into the hotel by forcing open a rear door with an implement of some sort. It appears the thieves then used the same implement to force their way into a number of rooms inside the property and carry out a search.
Speaking about this break-in, Superintendent Kevin Purcell said:
“The Severn View Hotel is currently closed as it has been damaged during recent flooding so this really is a heartless crime. We are therefore very keen to speak to anyone who may have information about this burglary, especially anyone who may have witnessed anything suspicious over the course of the past couple of days that could be linked to it.
“As of yet it is not clear exactly what the thieves have managed to steal but an Apple Macbook computer and several hundred pounds of cash are definitely missing from the hotel’s office.
“I would like to reassure people that we continue to have increased patrols out and about in the community at the present time and that it is very much business as usual in relation to our investigation of offences like this.
“This is the only crime that has been reported to the police which involves a property affected by flooding and despite our obvious involvement in helping people deal with the recent extreme weather conditions, we will leave no stone unturned in our attempts to capture the thieves responsible for this break-in."
Anyone who believes they may have information that could aid our investigation into this burglary is asked to contact police officers in Worcester on 101 as soon as possible, quoting incident number 577S 150214.
Alternatively, please remember that Crimestoppers can also be called anonymously on 0800 555 111 if you’d rather leave information without identifying yourself.
Car crushed by tree in Worcester
Risky business: Some people go to extraordinary and perhaps dangerous lengths to look at the flood water. Pic submitted by reader
Were you the driver who had a lucky escape when a tree fell on your car in Henwick Road on Saturday? Message me your number please!— James Connell (@JamesConnell8) February 16, 2014
Today is a perfect day to head down to the shops in Worcester. Just don't go for a swim or drink any flood water— James Connell (@JamesConnell8) February 16, 2014
Beautiful day in Worcester today after the Biblical deluge. The highways team are working hard down by the bridge, clearing the debris.— James Connell (@JamesConnell8) February 16, 2014
#open4business , Sun is shining! sky is blue! Worcester is Open! Bridge open to two way traffic! Free park and ride from Perdiswell— Cllr Lucy Hodgson (@Cllrlucyhodgson) February 16, 2014
Swans enjoying the early morning sunshine in Worcester and apparently completely indifferent to the painstaking work to clear the bridge of a mountain of debris.
A casualty of the floods. I wonder how long this tree has stood sentinel on the Severn. Your watch is over now.
I'm about to upload some pictures of the bridge clearance operation in Worcester. These are my photographs so I can't vouch for their quality. I've done my best but you can't get too close as this can be dangerous work. We have a pro (Nick Toogood) there at the moment so his pictures will be much, much better. As soon as I have his pics so will you. This is quite a delicate operation and the guy operating the excavator/river dredger has some serious skills. There is 500 tonnes to clear so if you want to have a look yourself the highways guys should be there for some time.
Very generous gesture by the Ahmadiyya Muslim Youth Association, donating large number of blankets to troops on flood effort in Worcester.— Supt Kevin Purcell (@SuptNorthWorcs) February 15, 2014
Boat crews have been performing 'safe and well' checks on people hit by the floods, wading out to houses to check on the vulnerable.
West Midlands Ambulance Service’s Hazardous Area Response Team (HART) consists of paramedics who have been travelling by boat and where possible wading out to houses that have limited access due to their homes or neighbourhoods being flooded.
The ‘safe and well’ checks not only ensure the public’s safety and general welfare but it also provides residents the opportunity to raise any health concerns they may have.
Residents who take regular medication have also been asked if they have an adequate supply to see them through the flooding period.
The checks have proved to be beneficial and on Friday Paramedics found themselves treating a patient who had been suffering from chest pains.
WMAS Assistant Chief Ambulance Officer, Steve Wheaton, said: “Initiatives such as this not only shows our determination to ensure those affected by flooding are being monitored and communicated with, but also demonstrates the excellent relationship the emergency service partners have with each other working seamlessly in such difficult conditions.
“Although the teams are proactively visiting properties, should anyone require emergency assistance please do not hesitate in contacting the emergency services. Throughout this period of flooding we have been and will continue to respond to you as quickly as we can.”
Work is now ongoing to clear debris from the Severn bridge in Worcester. Jon Fraser, the highways manager for Worcestershire County Council estimates there is around 500 tonnes of debris which has built up on the bridge because of the floods. The council has hired an excavator, a specialist river dredging crane to clear the rubbish which includes trees, branches, bottles, crates, fast food containers and even a life ring. The debris is not just on the surface and extends to a depth of around three meters. Mr Fraser said one of the challenges was avoiding causing damage to the bridge's lights. Poles have been put in to protect them. A tree surgeon is chopping up the larger trees which are being placed in a skip. There are men with stop signs to halt traffic on the bridge as some of the larger pieces of debris are removed. But once this is done the flow of traffic quickly resumes. SARA are on standby with two boats in case anyone falls in the river, whether they be highways staff or onlookers leaning too far forward on the bridge to get a good picture. There are quite a few spectators watching now. Soldiers from the Royal Irish Regiment to keep people safe and stop them getting too near to the work.
The debris next to the bridge in Worcester should be getting cleared tomorrow— @JamesConnell8 15 February 2014
Video of flooded Pitchcroft from the train. By Logan Kelly via www.facebook.com/theworcesternews
Welcome to Worcester-upon-Severn.... pic.twitter.com/K6lQyJDkEB— Tom Edwards (@tomedwardsWN) February 15, 2014
More pics from Upton. The guys from the 1st Battalion the Royal Irish Regiment (B company) could not have been more helpful. It certainly makes a change from the bus.
Never fear, the army's here. Beats catching the bus. And it was free. What do you make of Upton's new bus service?
The best seat on the Ryall to Upton Express pic.twitter.com/vdG2D4oSE8— Supt Mark Travis (@SuptSouthWorcs) February 15, 2014
RT @myworcester: Please use hashtag #WorcesterFloods for anything to do with floods in Worcester. Pls RT— @fergiebarebum 15 February 2014
THE main Worcester bridge may be closed again as river levels rise.
Following updated advice from the Environment Agency (EA), Worcestershire County Council is expecting it may need to need to close the bridge later this afternoon.
EA intelligence has confirmed the river is expected to rise today and the council's highways team is ready to act as needed.
A spokesman for the council said: "We will endeavour to keep the bridge open as long as possible to minimise disruption and as long as it is safe to do so."
The free shuttle bus service, which is ferrying people across the bridge from the Bull Ring roundabout to Huntingdon Hall lay-by on Deansway is currently planned to operate this evening between 10pm – 4am. The shuttle service is on stand-by for other hours should a further need arise and if the bridge should close, the shuttle bus will operate from that time until 4am.
A spokesman said: "This is still a dynamic situation and we'd continue to advise people to keep looking on our website www.worcestershire.gov.uk, following the @worcscc Twitter account, listening to local radio and visiting local media websites for updates."
RT @worcscc: For the latest info on #road closures and #bus disruptions, check the alerts on our website http://t.co/9FG2M7kBD5 #Worcesters…— @RTime_Vicky 15 February 2014
RT @worcscc: Should we need to close Worcester Bridge later this afternoon, the shuttle bus will start running again from that point #Flood…— @TRMLimited 15 February 2014
The troop carrier vehicles (TCVs) in Upton have not only been carrying people but also their pets. One dog, a five year-old Springer Spaniel called Toby, could hardly contain his excitement getting a ride across the flood water in the TCV.
There are around 100 men in B company of the 1st Battalion of the Royal Irish Regiment and they are covering a wide area in terms of flood relief - from the main bridge in Worcester to the The Mythe near Tewkesbury. It is a large area including many flood-hit areas like Kempsey, Severn Stoke and Upton. The military are getting their orders direct from the command centre at Worcester Police Station in Worcester's Castle Street. Major Darren McCleery, the OC for B company in Upton said the militray were responding directly to the needs of the civilian authorities. He said: "The men are happy to be here because it is something different." The troops have been particularly impressed with Upton's fish and chip shop. I'm told it's a lot better than their standard rations.
High winds are causing problems in Worcester today, including falling trees.
A tree fell on Henwick Road in Worcester this morning. A rapid response vehicle attended at around 1.47am but the driver whose vehicle was struck managed to escape safely and was uninjured.
Shortly after 7.15pm yesterday evening crews were called to Truemans Heath Lane in Hollywood, Birmingham when a tree fell on a passing car.
An ambulance, a paramedic area support officer and the Trust’s MERIT rapid response vehicle, carrying a critical care paramedic and a trauma doctor, were dispatched to the scene.
On arrival at the scene crews found a fallen tree and a car that had left the carriageway and was in a garden. The vehicle had sustained significant damage to its front end and roof.
Due to the damage to the car, the driver, a man believed to be in his 50s, had to be cut free from the vehicle. The man was treated at the scene for minor cuts and bruising and for back and neck pain injuries. He was fully immobilised and given pain relief before being conveyed to the Alexandra Hospital in Redditch for further assessment and treatment.
Report of male wandering along Worcester Rd, #Droitwich with an inflatable shark! #Floods #Jaws— @MalvernCops 15 February 2014
The lads from the 1st Battalion the Royal Irish Regiment (B company) are doing a great job in Upton, transporting people to the town through flood water, checking on vulnerable people and helping with distributing sandbags. Reporter James Connell went across on one of the 16 searer troop carrier vehicles (TCVs), which have been full to capacity on some runs. The TCVs have to negotiate around 1km of water which is a metre to a metre and half deep in some places. The vehicles have a high ground clearance (1.5 metres) and can go to a depth of up to 2.5 metres because they are snorkled which prevents the engine from flooding. The efforts of the soldiers have been well-received by the pubic and some have been bringing them food and drink to show their appreciation. People have been using the vehicles to do their shopping, buy newspapers and just to have a look at the flood water.
Kempsey PACT volunteers picking up roadside litter after the gales. Everybody is weighing in on the big clear up! #worcesterfloods— @rvernallsPA 15 February 2014
Free shuttle bus expected to operate tonight from Bull Ring roundabout to Huntingdon Hall lay-by on Deansway. 10pm-4am.
@JamesConnell8 now in Upton checking out the army in action. #Worcestershirefloods— @MikeMaloneyWN 15 February 2014
Might go to Upton just so I can get a ride through the floods in an Army truck!!— @BradPrice92 15 February 2014
Had a dream I was being washed away by floods in upton and I had to cling on to a lamppost with my legs and arms wrapped round hahaha— @hollieerobson 15 February 2014
Going to see all the floods in Worcester 👀💧— @AdamJoynson 15 February 2014
Off to Worcester town to see the floods and go shopping ..prepare for some pics— @jcody4 15 February 2014
RT @DaveThroupEA: Alternative shot of the #worcester floods from St Andrew's spire. Courtesy @myworcester http://t.co/p9LhPuSqIi— @Bob4PCC 15 February 2014
RT @MalvernCops: @HWFireControl command vehicle & @worcscc shuttle bus on #worcester bridge in the #sunshine #floods http://t.co/UPas9R6Nv8— @Constantinos76 15 February 2014
Army trucks waiting for the off. pic.twitter.com/LLq6KdwhQd— Jackie Surtees (@uptonuponsevern) February 15, 2014
Please remember Worcester is very much open for business. Come and support the shops and restaurants. Free Park & Ride & bus across bridge— Cllr Lucy Hodgson (@Cllrlucyhodgson) February 15, 2014
There are still 40 flood warnings in place in the Midlands and one severe flood warning. On the Severn there are flood warnings at North Worcester, south Worcester, Bevere, Pitchcroft, Stourport, Holt Fleet, East Waterside in Upton, Dunn's Lane, Upton, Northwood in Bewley, Clifton and Severn Stoke, Upper Arley and on the River Teme at Lower Wick