Bad weather leads to flooding fears in Tewkesbury
RESIDENTS in Tewkesbury are preparing themselves for flooding as the county readies itself for wet weather.
Rising temperatures are set to reach between 6C (42.8F) and 9C (48.2), causing snow from the mountains in Wales to melt.
Coupled with heavy rain over the weekend, it means parts of Gloucestershire are on standby for flooding.
The River Severn at Mythe Bridge was yesterday at a level of 3.5m, when typically its maximum level is 2.8m; The Environment Agency said flooding was possible from 3.96m, and it could reach this level this afternoon.
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At Haw Bridge, the river last night had already reached 4.32m, and flooding had already become possible.
It was significantly lower than its highest level of 6.23m, however, which it reached in the July 2007 floods.
Samantha Snape, landlady at The Lower Lode Inn, in Forthampton, said both floods in November and December had devastated her business, and she had been phoned twice yesterday by the Environment Agency with flood warnings.
"We were told there could be possible flooding around the area, and the last two floods caused so much damage here," she said.
"Even if it doesn't flood the pub, it cuts off access to the road. People don't know we're open again after the problem, and we're trying to get trade going again. We need to let people know we're open."
There are three tiers of flood statuses, from flood alerts, where flooding is possible, to flood warnings, where immediate action is required because flooding is expected, and severe flood warnings, where there is danger to life because of severe flooding.
Last night, there were two flood warnings and nine flood alerts across Gloucestershire.
An Environment Agency spokesman yesterday said: "Emergency teams from the Environment Agency have been out in force this weekend shoring up flood defences, monitoring river levels and clearing blockages from watercourses, and they will continue their work on the ground to reduce the risk of flooding throughout the week."
Previous victims of flooding in Tewkesbury said they were shoring up their defences, as they prepared for the onslaught.
Cheltenham resident Craig Lewis, 30, said the brook near Waitrose in Honeybourne Way, Cheltenham, had burst its banks.
The Environment Agency's nearest monitor in College Road had a water level reading of 0.68m, when flooding was possible at 0.2m.
Craig said: "There was a large flow of water and levels had risen considerably."