Churches and homes flood as water levels rise
CHURCHES and homes in villages near Tewkesbury have flooded – with the River Severn not due to peak until today.
St Michael and All Angels Church in Tirley was overwhelmed with water, as it was in the summer of 2007.
The nearby church in Ashleworth, St Andrew and St Bartholomew, was also affected, as was the village's Boat Inn.
Homes had to be evacuated across parts of the county yesterday as residents tried to come to terms with having their houses flooded for the second time in five years.
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Zog Ziegler's house near Haw Bridge had a foot of water in it, compared with 5ft in 2007.
He said: "We've got electricity and, because we're in a three-storey house, we're two storeys above the flood.
"But it's pretty miserable. We can't get out. The lane is too deep, even if you had waders on. We're toughing it out for now. Rescue services have to deal with others, rather than us."
Zog said six houses in his area had flooded with about a dozen downstream also facing flooding.
Firefighters used a boat to rescue an elderly woman from her flooded home off the Ledbury Road, near Tewkesbury.
She had been taken ill and an ambulance crew could not get to her through floodwater.
But in central Tewkesbury itself, despite aerial pictures showing a deluge of water, residents were mainly unaffected.
A small number of properties had flooded, including two cottages in Mythe Road. Others, such as those in Abbey Terrace, had been at risk.
Resident John Badham remained calm, saying most people had tiled floors and moved furniture upstairs.
"If it does flood here, I don't think it will be a huge problem," he said.
Hugh Faulkner had to don waders outside his flat at the Abbey Mill.
He said: "Everyone is fine and has got waders. It doesn't seem to have got any worse today."
The £5.5million flood defences at Mythe treatment works, which was overcome with water five years ago, did the trick yesterday.
The Environment Agency said although the Severn was not due to peak until today, it was not expected to cause a big increase in the levels.
Floodwater had begun to subside in the Cotswolds with Gloucester braced for more disruption today. More than 1,000 sandbags have been delivered to at risk areas.
Crews evacuated people from homes in Sandhurst and Maisemore as the fire service's hovercraft and Severn Area Rescue Association's rescue boat were both launched.
By yesterday afternoon, the service had attended 32 incidents in the county.
It comes as Tewkesbury MP Laurence Robertson, speaking in the House of Commons, called for the Government not to force local authorities into allowing more development in or near the floodplain.