Gloucestershire floods leave swathes of land under water
RISING floodwaters caused chaos in communities across Gloucestershire yesterday as the heavy rainfall took its toll.
Parts of Tewkesbury were left underwater as water spilled over the banks of the River Severn – giving residents a nasty reminder of the 2007 floods.
More than 20 county roads were left partly or fully submerged following downpours throughout the weekend.
It came after 32mm fell in four hours on a sodden Saturday night – followed by further rain yesterday. The Environment Agency has placed large parts of the county on flood alert.
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Kelly Baikie, landlady of the Hawbridge Inn, in Tirley near Tewkesbury, said staff were preparing themselves for the worst as water from the River Severn rose by the hour.
She said: "The water level has been creeping up an inch or two every hour since Saturday night which is pretty quick.
"Our garden is covered apart from a small patch of green. It came up across the road outside as well.
"We are bracing ourselves for more as there is rain forecast overnight and over Monday."
Several lanes of the M5 had to be closed and other roads left impassable included the A435 at Bishop's Cleeve and the B4213 at Tirley.
Members of the Gloucestershire Fire and Rescue Service were working around the clock to pump water away from affected homes. They were called out to Shuthonger, near Tewkesbury, and received several calls from the Cirencester area. Parts of the Forest of Dean were also submerged, with Lydbrook particularly badly affected.
The Severn Area Rescue Association was also in action, with crew members deployed to affected areas across the region, including Sharpness and as far afield as Exeter.
A spokesman for the Environment Agency said: "We are warning residents to stay vigilant as we see the effect of Saturday night's heavy rain and prepare for further rainfall.
"We are working with our partners to respond to the developing situation. Environment Agency teams have been mobilised across the region to check on flood defences, clear any river blockages and monitor river levels."
Gloucestershire Highways chiefs urged motorists not to attempt to drive through floodwater lying on roads.
Echo weather expert Ian Thomas said so far in November 168mm of rain had fallen – the wettest month for two years. And he warned there was more to come.
"More rain is expected today, Tuesday and Wednesday," he said. "There could be some icy nights towards the end of the week too as the weather gets colder."