Severe weather in Gloucestershire: Wind and rain batters county
Fierce winds and rain are sweeping across Gloucestershire this evening, as parts of the county remain under water following yesterday's downpours.
River levels are being monitored amid predictions of between 20mm and 40mm of rain falling this evening. There fears there could be more flooding in the county and it could be worse than yesterday's.
The Environment Agency is urging people to keep an eye on flood warnings on its website.
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About 1,000 homes in the county are without power tonight, the bulk of which are in Frampton-on-Severn, Newent and Hartpury. Western Power is working on the problem, it's helpline is 0800 3281111. A spokesman said the power cuts were wind related but they were expecting severe weather and have a higher-than-usual number of engineers on call throughout the night in preparation. It is not yet clear when power will be restored to those affected.
* 9.54pm: Environment Agency urges residents to keep a close eye on flood warnings, updates are coming every 15 minutes here
* 9.51pm: A new flood warning has been issued, for the Severn at Apperley and The Leigh, details here
* 9.39pm: The Coopers Edge end of Lobleys Drive in Gloucester will remain closed "until further notice", police say
* 8.52pm: No further road closures reported, as Gloucestershire's Chief Fire Officer Jon Hall tweets his appreciation of rescue teams' efforts: "12 High Volume Pmps, 10 boat rescue Teams and 2 Enhanced Logistics Units. Great FRS support to the South West thanks."
* 8.30pm: Disruption to First Great Western Railways services south of Gloucestershire to Exeter, Plymouth and Bristol. Expected to continue tomorow
* 8.15pm: Lots of reports of standing water but no futher road closures - A46 through Shurdington reports of standing water and on London Road, Glos by St Peter's Church
*7.58pm: A48 has now cleared and is passable with care according to police.
*7.43pm: Lots of stalls had to close early at Victorian Chistmas market at Quays due to the weather.
*7.42pm: Bailey Lane Hewelsfield Lydney is closed due to a tree across the road taking telephone lines down.
* 7.09pm: Environment Agency encouraging people to go to their website and sign up for free flood warnings for their homes and businesses
* 7.08pm: Road from Mitcheldean to Littledean partially flooded
* 7.06pm: Hearing that power restored in Coleford - big thanks to the teams working in atrocious conditions from The Forest Deli Co
* 7.05pm: Reports of tree down at Tunnley on rural lane from Daneway to Oakridge and Far Oakridge
* 6.59pm: One lane closed on Stratford Road in Stroud due to a drain cover collapsing. This will cause lengthy delays so police recommend avoiding the area
* 6.38pm: Ford at Temple Guiting is closed due to a tree across the road
* 6.36pm: Long delays reported on Crickley Hill, where vehicle is broken down on inside lane
* 6.33pm: A48 at Minsterworth has reopened and is passable with care. The A48 is flooded at Elton corner and at Newnham.
* 6.32pm: Water Lane, Sapperton, Cirencester blocked by a fallen tree. Glos Police say highways will be dealing as soon as possible
* 6.28pm: M50 Eastbound - one lane blocked because of accident at junction 2 for Ledbury
* 6.25pm: Church Road in Kemble is partially blocked by a fallen tree
* 6.11pm: Flooding on the A48 at Elton Corner and also further down the A48 out of Newnham towards Blakeney
* 6.06pm: Bulley Lane, Churcham - tree blocking the road and taken down telephone cables
* 5.58pm: Flooded road issues are starting to be reported - first one is in Valley Road, Cinderford. Passable with care
* 5.53pm: A417 Crickley Hill. Vehicle broken down on the inside lane. Traffic slow
* 5.48pm: Stoke Road, Bishops Cleeve - traffic lights are not working and due to Hyde Lane being closed this is causing significant traffic congestion
* 5.46pm: B4221 just outside Newent. Fallen tree has closed the road. Avoid this route if at all possible
* 5.45pm: Church Road, Newnham-on-Severn is blocked by a 'massive' tree. This will take sometime to remove so avoid
* 5.42pm: A433 south of the Kemble turning is blocked by a tree in the road. Passable with care
* 5.40pm: A436 blocked between Stow-on-the-Wold and Upper Oddington due to a tree. Avoid this road if at all possible
* 5.35pm: Tree is blocking the A424 just outside Stow toward Evesham. Avoid if at all possible
* 5.30pm: M5 motorway obstruction around Junction 11 southbound has been cleared
* 5.06pm: Hyde Lane between Swindon Village and Cheltenham Race Course traffic lights is closed due to a tree blocking the road
* 5.02pm: M5 Southbound, set of steps in lane three of the motorway around Junction 11. Approach with caution
* 4.58pm: Lobleys Drive, Gloucester closed as it's flooded at the motorway bridge. Building companies at Coopers Edge have been thanked for giving extra signs
* 4.53pm: A38 at The Mythe, Tewkesbury. Tree over the road causing an obstruction by the Mythe Garden Centre
* 4.51pm: B4632 at Winchcombe has a tree over the road, can be passed with caution.
* 4.50pm: Cotteswold Road closed in both directions in Saintbridge due to felled tree
* 4.48pm: Metz Way, Gloucester - cones from the works on the railway bridge are blowing in the road
* 4.47pm: Tonight's Stroud District Council meeting at Ebley Mill, Stroud has been cancelled due to bad weather.
* 4.44pm: B4066 at The Stanleys, Selsley has a tree across the road, passable with care
* 4.34pm: Stroud's Peak Academy School will be closed tomorrow due to "health and safety considerations"
* 4.15pm A48 shut in both directions between Highnam roundabout and Minsterworth after a tree fell on a car. More follows here
Gloucestershire Fire and Rescue Service is co-ordinating the emergency response for seven fire and rescue services in the South West following severe weather warnings across the region.
Strensham Services on the M5 will act as the base for strategic command, involving fire and rescue services from around the country supporting services in Devon and Somerset, Wiltshire, Dorset, Avon, Oxfordshire, Hereford and Worcestershire and Gloucestershire.
Other services stationed at the base and ready to respond include police, the Severn Area Rescue Association, and other teams of specialists in mountain, cavern and water rescues.
Gloucestershire's Chief Fire Officer Jon Hall said: "This multi-agency way of working is tried and tested, and it's working well for Gloucestershire again. We are receiving great support from agencies around the country and the region."
Cllr Mark Hawthorne, Leader of Gloucestershire County Council, said: "I am very grateful for all the support being received here in the South West from agencies all across the country. Gloucestershire Fire and Rescue Service are playing a very important part in co-ordinating it all."
Though we are not expecting the worst in this county, Gloucestershire Fire and Rescue Service and Gloucestershire County Council are urging drivers to be extra careful on the roads and to stay off them unless absolutely necessary.
Drivers are also being given the following advice:
• Listen to local radio bulletins for road closures before setting off
• Leave extra time for a journey if it is necessary
• Don't drive into floodwater – you don't know how deep it is
• Be wary of high winds and the extra risks they may bring
• Make sure you're prepared if you get caught in a traffic jam – with enough fuel, your mobile phone battery fully charged, and food and drink
If you have any problems on the roads, contact Gloucestershire Highways on 08000 514 514.
* 3.39pm: Severn Area Rescue Association boats are on alert for tonight
* 3.35pm: Lobleys Drive is still closed, Gloucester Police report
* 2.10pm: Police, fire and rescue and county council issue joint statement urging drivers to be careful this afternoon and evening with further rain expected.
Gloucestershire Highways has already put additional response crews in place to respond to incidents as they arise, with gully unblocking teams on standby.
The main advice is to reduce speed, drive carefully and considerately, and avoid making journeys if they aren't necessary.
The heaviest of the rainfall is anticipated between 3pm and 8pm. Commuters are advised to make their journey earlier or later to avoid the rush hours if at all possible.
Drivers are also advised to leave extra time for a journey, not to drive into floodwater, make sure you're prepared if you get caught in a traffic jam – with enough fuel, your mobile phone battery fully charged, and food and drink.
If you have any problems on the roads, please contact Gloucestershire Highways on 08000 514 514.
Superintendent Neil Mantle said: "As we saw yesterday standing water across the county is causing some roads to be impassable, and whilst the major routes were free flowing again some hours later the anticipated turn in the weather this afternoon could cause similar problems.
"We'd urge people to follow the advice but also ask that drivers only use the 101 phone number to report incidents and not to ask about their route home.
"Yesterday we had more than 100 calls regarding the weather, some of which were reporting incidents but many were drivers asking whether a particular road was closed and we would like to keep our lines free for those in need of help and assistance."
Geoff Sallis, Deputy Chief Fire Officer, said: "Gloucestershire Fire & Rescue Service has planned for and is ready to respond to any incidents that occur during the anticipated bad weather this afternoon and evening. We have also added extra capacity to deal with both weather and any other incidents."
Meanwhile,residents are asked to call the Environment Agency Floodline number on 0845 988 1188 or check the website for more information about what to do if they think their homes are going to flood.
No school closures are anticipated.
* 2.04pm: Batsford Arboretum is closed today due to strong winds. Visitor centre still open
* 12.15pm: Reports that winds are picking up in Gloucester. Cotswolds and Forest of Dean are expected to bear the brunt
* 12.02pm: Among roads still water logged and closed is Lobley's Drive in Abbeymead, police confirmed this afternoon.
* 12pm: Ebley bypass is now open
Yesterday, engineering experts were drafted in ahead of schedule after floodwater overwhelmed a canal dam and forced workmen to be evacuated.
A new 330 metre stretch of the Stroudwater Canal is under 1.5 metres of water - but it should be empty.
Engineers are installing a temporary dam to keep back the water they're pumping out of the section near Doctor Newton's Way in Stroud.
Read more and see pictures of the temporary dam here
* Fresh flood warning was issued this morning by the Environment Agency for the River Frome at Brimscombe, Thrupp and Chalford, and the River Severn at Severn Ham, including Abbey Mill, Upper and Lower Lode and Shakespeare Court
Flood warnings remain in place for the River Avon at Twyning, Strensham and Bredon. Be prepared flood alerts have been issued for the River Severn from Tewkesbury to Gloucester, the River Lyd and Cinderford Brook in the Forest of Dean, the River Wye in the county and in Herefordshire.
Today, Conservative MP for Tewkesbury, Laurence Robertson, raised flooding issues in the county at Commons business questions.
He said lessons have still not been learned from the floods of 2007 and stressed the importance of keeping drains and ditches maintained and repaired.
And with more heavy rain forecast, he has called on ministers to be ready to make statements on the situation at the start of next week.
He said: "The situation is bad enough already, but could get worse. Already, there are reports of roads and fields flooding, but also some houses.
"Some schools were closed and other businesses were affected and the situation wasn't good.
"It is important not to become alarmist on this issue, but equally important to be prepared for what might come.
"Further heavy rainfall is forecast for tonight and I wanted to make sure the government is fully aware of the situation.
"I said in the Commons that the relevant departments, mainly DEFRA and the Department for Communities & Local Government, should be prepared to make statements in the Commons on Monday should the situation deteriorate.
"The Leader of the House assured me that they will keep Parliament informed of their actions."
He added: "Going into the future, it will be important to ensure that drains and repaired and maintained, and that ditches and other waterways are properly cleared out.
"It seems that, in some cases, that we have not learned the lessons of 2007 and it is important that we do so.
"The Government needs to develop a strategy for ensuring that this work is carried out and I will be pressing them to do so."
His comments came after last night the drive home for many people took a lot longer than expected. There were problems on the M5 towards junction 12 where water had flooded the route causing long delays as the road had to be cleared.
Shoppers were also left with long delays leaving Sainsbury's at Barnwood due to temporary traffic lights.
TiG will be updated all day with weather, Environment Agency news and traffic reports.
Don't miss the Echo and Citizen today for our special reports on yesterday's deluge.