The latest news, sport and weather for the Midlands.
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Good evening. Rising flood waters have caused major problems for
drivers in Worcester as a number of roads had to be closed. The River
Severn is now at its highest level in the city since the summer of
2007. Across the Midlands, the Environment Agency has issued 47
flood warnings and many homes and businesses, including an historic
pub, have already flooded. Bob Hockenhull reports.
City siege `` a city under siege from the Severn once more. The main
bridge has been closed, splitting the area in two and causing chaos.
Tomorrow will be terrible. It will be jam`packed over the bridge.
It has come up quick but there's nothing we can do about it.
The waters are due to peak overnight here. The authorities are bracing
themselves for a difficult week. Due to the volume going under the
bridge the decision has been taken to close it and until they are
satisfied it is safe, this busy route will stay shut.
We are seeing some high levels now. Certainly the highest since 2007 and
they are still higher. The impacts are they starting to happen now.
Yesterday, this historic pub in the nearby village of Severn Stoke, had
put up makeshift barriers which seemed to be holding up. But in the
early hours the landlord and his family were forced to flee as the
waters seeped in. It'll be closed for several weeks.
It was the speed it came up. In the end we just grabbed a pair of
trousers each and my son and his lady and my wife and I came across
and it was above the height of our waders. We just managed to get out.
The state of the surrounding fields has left the pub's neighbours
fearing the worst. We are the second house from a
church down here. It is probably about one foot from coming into the
house. Back in Worcester, contingency plans
are being drawn up as the bridge is not likely to open until Tuesday at
the earliest. All our emergency staff are working
at this time and we will be putting on bus services to get people to and
from work during the rush hour in particular tomorrow.
Getting back to work is a distant prospect for some though who are
left wondering how they'll be able to recover from the devastation
that's already been caused. For the very latest on the flooding
in Worcestershire, tune into Howard and Toni at Breakfast on BBC
Hereford and Worcester from 6am tomorrow morning.
A man has died in a fire which police say was started deliberately
at a house in Dudley. A 42`year`old woman and two boys, aged nine and
15, got out of the house just seconds before the fire took hold at
the property in Wood Street in the Holly Hall area last night. They
were taken to hospital and released later. Police say they're not
looking for anyone else in connection with the incident.
Neighbours have been speaking of their shock.
There were police, fire engines, ambulances, police with guns.
It is a sad situation to have that happening in your own area.
I'm just shocked because it is a quiet area. I'm just gobsmacked.
A Shrewsbury man has been charged after pages were torn from a copy of
the Quran and thrown during a football match. The incident
happened at the game between Birmingham City and Middlesbrough at
St Andrews in December. 25`year`old Mark Stephenson has been charged
with causing racial or religiously aggravated harassment, alarm or
distress. He is due to appear at Birmingham Magistrates' Court on the
28th of February. A charity which helps people recover
from domestic abuse claims women will die if its funding is cut.
Worcestershire County Council is considering reducing its budget for
West Mercia Women's Aid by half. It comes as the authority battles to
save tens of millions of pounds over the next three years. But, speaking
on the Sunday Politics Midlands, the charity's chief executive claimed it
was a false economy. Money is not handed out. We deliver
services under contract with very, very tight monitoring. These are not
grants. This is money that comes from the local authority for us to
deliver services that, if we didn't deliver them, they would have to.
That is something we need to remember, they would have to do it.
You can see more on that story on the Sunday Politics Midlands which
is now available on the BBC iPlayer. At the Winter Olympics in Sochi,
Coventry`born Amanda Lightfoot finished well down the field in
today's Biathlon Sprint. The army corporal, who now lives in the North
East, came in 75th place in a time of 24 minutes and 48 seconds.
Time for more detail on the weather now.
After a showery day, as the temperatures drop away overnight,
our next concern is ice so The Met Office has got a yellow warning in
place which covers large parts of the West Midlands. There will still
be one or two showers going into this evening but it is a largely dry
picture. We are expecting the temperatures to drop close to
freezing and there will be a patchy frost as well. It will be a cold
start to the working week. There will still be one or two showers
around but they will be lighter. They may turn wintry as we go
through the day but then there will be some dry and bright spells
around. The winds certainly much lighter than they have been but more
wet and windy weather to come. On Tuesday, it remains unsettled.
That's all for now but please keep sending
Good evening. We have a significant number of severe warnings out. Most
of them have been issued on the River Thames today. Now, of course,
with more rain due this week, that is not good news, and as well as
that, we are expecting some gales as well on the coast. But this week,
perhaps an increased risk of some snow as well. At the moment we are
in a quiet spell of weather, with fewer showers around, this evening
and overnight. There is a risk as temperatures get close to freezing
that there could be some ice first thing in the morning. Temperatures
will be lower out in the countryside. We could even have a
smattering of snow tonight and first thing in the morning over the hills
of Wales, the Midlands, up into northern England and Scotland. But
tomorrow will be quieter, once again. Still scattered showers
around. For the east of England perhaps chilly and grey for Match of
the Day. But on Tuesday, the next Atlantic low rushes in. --