09/02/2014 Midlands Today


09/02/2014

The latest news, sport and weather for the Midlands.


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Good evening. Rising flood waters have caused major problems for

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drivers in Worcester as a number of roads had to be closed. The River

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Severn is now at its highest level in the city since the summer of

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2007. Across the Midlands, the Environment Agency has issued 47

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flood warnings and many homes and businesses, including an historic

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pub, have already flooded. Bob Hockenhull reports.

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City siege `` a city under siege from the Severn once more. The main

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bridge has been closed, splitting the area in two and causing chaos.

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Tomorrow will be terrible. It will be jam`packed over the bridge.

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It has come up quick but there's nothing we can do about it.

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The waters are due to peak overnight here. The authorities are bracing

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themselves for a difficult week. Due to the volume going under the

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bridge the decision has been taken to close it and until they are

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satisfied it is safe, this busy route will stay shut.

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We are seeing some high levels now. Certainly the highest since 2007 and

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they are still higher. The impacts are they starting to happen now.

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Yesterday, this historic pub in the nearby village of Severn Stoke, had

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put up makeshift barriers which seemed to be holding up. But in the

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early hours the landlord and his family were forced to flee as the

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waters seeped in. It'll be closed for several weeks.

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It was the speed it came up. In the end we just grabbed a pair of

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trousers each and my son and his lady and my wife and I came across

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and it was above the height of our waders. We just managed to get out.

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The state of the surrounding fields has left the pub's neighbours

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fearing the worst. We are the second house from a

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church down here. It is probably about one foot from coming into the

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house. Back in Worcester, contingency plans

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are being drawn up as the bridge is not likely to open until Tuesday at

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the earliest. All our emergency staff are working

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at this time and we will be putting on bus services to get people to and

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from work during the rush hour in particular tomorrow.

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Getting back to work is a distant prospect for some though who are

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left wondering how they'll be able to recover from the devastation

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that's already been caused. For the very latest on the flooding

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in Worcestershire, tune into Howard and Toni at Breakfast on BBC

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Hereford and Worcester from 6am tomorrow morning.

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A man has died in a fire which police say was started deliberately

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at a house in Dudley. A 42`year`old woman and two boys, aged nine and

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15, got out of the house just seconds before the fire took hold at

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the property in Wood Street in the Holly Hall area last night. They

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were taken to hospital and released later. Police say they're not

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looking for anyone else in connection with the incident.

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Neighbours have been speaking of their shock.

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There were police, fire engines, ambulances, police with guns.

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It is a sad situation to have that happening in your own area.

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I'm just shocked because it is a quiet area. I'm just gobsmacked.

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A Shrewsbury man has been charged after pages were torn from a copy of

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the Quran and thrown during a football match. The incident

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happened at the game between Birmingham City and Middlesbrough at

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St Andrews in December. 25`year`old Mark Stephenson has been charged

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with causing racial or religiously aggravated harassment, alarm or

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distress. He is due to appear at Birmingham Magistrates' Court on the

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28th of February. A charity which helps people recover

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from domestic abuse claims women will die if its funding is cut.

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Worcestershire County Council is considering reducing its budget for

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West Mercia Women's Aid by half. It comes as the authority battles to

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save tens of millions of pounds over the next three years. But, speaking

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on the Sunday Politics Midlands, the charity's chief executive claimed it

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was a false economy. Money is not handed out. We deliver

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services under contract with very, very tight monitoring. These are not

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grants. This is money that comes from the local authority for us to

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deliver services that, if we didn't deliver them, they would have to.

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That is something we need to remember, they would have to do it.

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You can see more on that story on the Sunday Politics Midlands which

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is now available on the BBC iPlayer. At the Winter Olympics in Sochi,

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Coventry`born Amanda Lightfoot finished well down the field in

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today's Biathlon Sprint. The army corporal, who now lives in the North

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East, came in 75th place in a time of 24 minutes and 48 seconds.

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Time for more detail on the weather now.

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After a showery day, as the temperatures drop away overnight,

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our next concern is ice so The Met Office has got a yellow warning in

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place which covers large parts of the West Midlands. There will still

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be one or two showers going into this evening but it is a largely dry

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picture. We are expecting the temperatures to drop close to

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freezing and there will be a patchy frost as well. It will be a cold

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start to the working week. There will still be one or two showers

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around but they will be lighter. They may turn wintry as we go

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through the day but then there will be some dry and bright spells

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around. The winds certainly much lighter than they have been but more

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wet and windy weather to come. On Tuesday, it remains unsettled.

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That's all for now but please keep sending

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Good evening. We have a significant number of severe warnings out. Most

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of them have been issued on the River Thames today. Now, of course,

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with more rain due this week, that is not good news, and as well as

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that, we are expecting some gales as well on the coast. But this week,

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perhaps an increased risk of some snow as well. At the moment we are

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in a quiet spell of weather, with fewer showers around, this evening

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and overnight. There is a risk as temperatures get close to freezing

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that there could be some ice first thing in the morning. Temperatures

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will be lower out in the countryside. We could even have a

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smattering of snow tonight and first thing in the morning over the hills

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of Wales, the Midlands, up into northern England and Scotland. But

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tomorrow will be quieter, once again. Still scattered showers

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around. For the east of England perhaps chilly and grey for Match of

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the Day. But on Tuesday, the next Atlantic low rushes in. --

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