10/02/2014 Midlands Today


The latest news, sport and weather for the Midlands.

Similar Content

Browse content similar to 10/02/2014. Check below for episodes and series from the same categories and more!



News at Six so it's goodbye from me, News at Six so it's goodbye from me,


Hello, welcome to Midlands Today, coming to you from the city centre


of Worcester, facing its worst floods for years. The headlines


tonight: The river level is equal to the


floods of 2007. It's expected to go higher tomorrow. I am worried about


later in the week because it is going to come back again with the


river already feel. We'll be finding out just how well


the flood barriers have been working all along the Severn. Also this


evening: Just downstream homes have been


flooded, though. Why residents of this village say they've been


abandoned. Obviously a bigger village or town has to come first


but we are still people and still suffering.


Busy times for the emergency services rescuing people by boat


from the rising flood waters. Sadly there is very little comfort


in the forecast with further complications to come. I have to say


that rain is only part of the problem. Join me shortly for the


very latest. Good evening from the centre of


Worcester. Just behind me, the main bridge across the Severn was shut by


floodwater earlier today, cutting the city in two. It's open again now


but for how long? The river's already reached the level of the


devastating floods of 2007. Since then, flood barriers have


successfully protected homes. But all the signs are that the waters


will get even higher tomorrow. Cath Mackie has spent the day in a city


learning to live once more with the floods.


First light in Worcester and the sun rises revealing a city under


water... And a city almost cut in two. The historic bridge, a major


arterial route, was closed to traffic.


In the rush hour, the city centre roads were eerily quiet. But on the


outskirts, thousands of commuters were forced to find another way in.


The swans too were forced off course as the river and road merged into


one by Gheluvelt park. People living nearby waded home. But at least


their flood barriers were stopping the water from getting inside. The


river has been up and down constantly. I am worried about later


in the week because it is going to come back with the river already


fooled. Other than that, we are dry as a bone. The central bus station


is currently closed and buses diverted. Road works too have been


suspended. But by lunchtime, some good news ` the bridge was partially


opened to traffic. There are people working around the clock. The bridge


is open again however given the forecast and the amount of rain that


is coming down, or might, we cannot rule out the possibility of having


to close it again. With more rain expected, the river levels will be


going up and down all week so we can expect more road closures and more


disruption. And that'll impact on the local economy. Businesses are


worried. If they cannot get people into shop or eight or whatever it


may be. We got the bridge open as soon as we could and we will keep


managing it to make sure we get the best resilience out of the network.


Local businesses are hoping the message gets through. A job for


anybody to get through to deliver anybody to others have not been able


to this morning. No customers, obviously, because it has frightened


everybody away. Since we saw the impact of the flooding, I knew it


would be a quiet day today and hopefully it only lasts for maybe


today, maybe tomorrow and then we can get back to business. Since the


big flood of 2007, millions have been spent on flood defences along


the Severn and today they held. But Worcester's floodwaters remain a


wonder to behold. I have come from Manchester. It rains a lot but


nothing like this. What do you think? Let's have a look at the


weather terrible, absolutely terrible. Unbelievable. The city may


have witnessd scenes like this before but it doesn't make it any


easier. Cath Mackie, BBC Midlands Today, Worcester.


So far this city is coping well with the floods. Money spent on flood


barriers means we've seen nothing like the devastation and misery from


floods in the past. But south of Tewkesbury, the village of Chaceley


isn't protected. Homes have been flooded and families say they feel


abandoned, as Steve Knibbs has been finding out.


The population of this village is around 100 and flooding is a regular


occurrence. Roads and lanes are covered in several metres of water.


The only transport for the landlord of the local pub is by boat. We are


just busy getting everything out of the water. It is just going up and


up. This water arrived on Christmas Eve and has not gone away. What is


frustrating for the residents, and incredible when you think about it,


is that we are one mile away from the river. Unlike places like


Somerset, there are no pumps. Well rehearsed plans to protect homes


have been put in place when again. It is part of village life but does


not get any easier. Many here feared their plight is being ignored. We


are only a small village and there is only a few others. Obviously a


bigger village or town has to come first but we are still people and we


are still suffering, all of us along here in the village. I think we need


to have something done here also. The flooding is a 20th`century


problem. It is blamed on large`scale development on the flood plains and


pumps put in a further the river. As a result, it gets to Gloucester and


there is a massive constriction of the river in Gloucester, huge


development has taken place and we have on step. What happens is the


river reaches a pinch point, you cannot go through, it backs up and


comes over here. Villagers want a storm drain built by the Environment


Agency admits that current spending rules, requiring a good return on


investment, make it unlikely. In the meantime, people here are coping


stop but with the water still here after several weeks and nothing


being done, patience is thin. So what are the prospects of more


rain over the next few days making a critical situation even worse.


Shefali is back in the studio. Houses looking? Not really. We will


have quite a spell of weather this week but certainly, the emphasis is


still very much on ring. Not only that, it is going to be colder in


recent weeks. This is the air mass that we are currently buried under,


the expanse of blue. It is originating from the North. Rain and


cold is never a good combination of the best of times and this will lead


to snow on life. It is not to be taken lightly because there are


warnings for all three, and that will apply to a lot of places.


Dear oh dear. Downstream from here, flood barriers


have been protecting most homes in Upton on Severn. But there's still


been serious disruption to many people's lives, with bridges closed


and roads impassable. Ben Sidwell reports on the struggle to cope with


life by the rising waters. Being pulled to safety, yet another


victim of this winter's floods. Despite defensive around her


property, overnight this woman's home eventually succumbed to the


rising water. The water is coming in, yes. Everything has been lifted


or taken upstairs that we can. You know? Sheila is not alone. One of


her neighbours, who also had to be rescued, only moved into his house


in October. It has been three or four times since Christmas and it


has not come in the houses but there is so much that it has found a way


in and we cannot stop it. Out on the river itself, the rescue team can


get a good look at those still in potential danger. To give you some


idea of just how bad the river is, take a look behind me. That area


there, where a few things sticking out of the water, is the caravan


park. From the board, it is easy to see the extent of the flooding all


around the time. The water is coming up so quickly. It is really getting


people to a safe position as possible. The river here in Upton is


currently 5.4 metres above its normal level. As you can see on the


post behind me, in fact some way to go to match the level in 2007. There


is some good news in Upton. The majority of flood defences are


working and holding back the river. While the town may be dry, the water


has to go somewhere. Today, that somewhere included this man's home.


Have the flood defences worked against you? The water was so loud,


it was almost impossible to hear him. Harry said it was definitely


being pushed towards his eyes and he was now facing a constant battle


around the clock to save his own. `` towards his house. As another person


is risky, the worry is that they may not have seen the worst of the


flooding here. Well, a lot of attention has been


focused here in Worcester. But up and down the swollen River Severn,


people and communities have been having to cope with what nature has


thrown at them. There are 46 flood warnings across the region tonight


and 25 flood alerts. Ben Godfrey begins his report further upstream


along the Severn in Shrewsbury. The speed of the rising River Severn


is uncompromising at this car park near English Bridge in Shrewsbury.


Vehicles are being written off. There were about 24 cars here this


morning. Three quarters of those have been removed by the council or


owners. There are still six trapped in the water.


The Environment Agency says the Severn will peak in the town at


close to 4.5 metres, a level not seen for around a decade.


It is about four inches at the front of the garage and is just going to


get a deeper. Graeme MacLeod is rescuing his


belongings. Floodwater has seeped into his apartment near Wyle Cop. I


have only got two days left in this property. I have just signed the


lease for my new place so I am going to have to shift all the boxes. I


have already got boxes of year. It is unfortunate timing. Elsewhere,


the floodwaters have become something of a public spectacle on


the River Wye in Hereford. But a dangerous one. A motorist had to be


rescued by fire crews yesterday. The Avon burst its banks in Stratford.


In Bridgnorth, the Severn was swallowing everything in its path.


And as if the rain hadn't brought enough chaos, there was heavy snow


in Oswestry this morning. Standing water has made driving conditions


treacherous. Is there any driving technique that you can employ to


make your life easier? Nice and slow and steady like I say. Use a care if


you have got that or some sort of gauge. Not too fast. The unfortunate


thing is that you have got no control over people coming towards


you doing the same thing, you can double the depth of the water. In


Bredon, near Tewkesbury, pub regulars were determined to keep the


landlords out of deep water, proving community spirit is undiminished.


Despite the encroaching River Avon, this business is staying open. Some


of the customers that came in this morning drove up as near as they


could, came in, grabbed a there and fetched me sandbags and it is great.


It is a lovely little community pub and... You know, just hoping the


water does not finish me off. Tonight, though, it's back in


Shrewsbury where property may be at greatest risk after days of heavy


rain in North Shropshire and Powys. Barriers are up at Coleham Head and


the pumps are primed for action. Ben Godfrey, BBC Midlands Today,


Shrewsbury. Our environment correspondent David


Gregory Kumar has been assessing the situation for us. What's the overall


picture and why do these floods seem to have hit so hard, David? This is


the latest information. to have hit so hard, David? This is


the Over 30 flood warnings, clustered along the length of the


river from above Shrewsbury down to Gloucester. We also have flood


warnings in Hereford. That means people affected should be moving


their families, pets and valuables to a safe location and put any flood


protection equipment in place. Bridges in Worcester City Centre,


Bewdley and Upton upon Severn were closed during the day and roads in


and around Lemptster and Hereford are also affected by floodwater. And


why has all this happened? Well, the Environment Agency say in January


the Midlands saw 224% of average rainfall, making it the wettest


January on record in the Midlands. River flows across the region are


considerably higher than normal and our soils are saturated. So there's


a lot of water out there, more is coming, the ground is too wet to


soak it up, so we get flooding. So that's now, but how does this


compare to floods in the past and what's changed in how we cope with


them? Well, these are our most recent large flood events in the


Midlands. It's actually really hard to compare them because they can be


so different in terms of area affected and volume and duration of


rainfall. But in terms of properties flooded, things got progressively


worse from 1998 to 2007. But since 2007 here in the Midlands, there's


been massive investment in flood defences. The Environment Agency


have spent around ?20m pounds and all this investment means around


1,300 homes in the Severn catchment are now protected from flooding. And


around 2,000 homes across the midlands in total. Those are


properties that are dry today that would have been flooded in the past.


The River Severn is now at its highest level in Worcester since the


summer of 2007, our last major flood. Of course we won't know


exactly how this flood compares to others because this one isn't over


yet. Shefali will have the forecast later on.


Joining me now is Dave Throup from the Environment Agency. Good


evening. What's the situation tonight? It is fairly stable. The


Severn peaked earlier on but we are expecting it to peak again tomorrow


as the water comes down the catchment from Wales. Labels are


going to start to rise again. Worcestershire County Council said


that they reckon that great parts of the county could be closed for a


week. There is certainly a chance. These are the highest we have seen


since 2007 and particularly the rural and remote communities on the


larger areas of the flood plain, they are under water and will stay


that way for a while. Some people have contacted us because they're


worried debris is being swept against bridges blocking the flow


and that could create a dam effect. Is there anything you are able to do


about that? Not in the short`term. Not while the water levels are like


this. We have to wait for them to drop before we can safely get them


away. As soon as they do drop then we will tackle that. They do not


present an immediate dangers so we will tackle them when it is safe. Do


you expect the flood defences to hold in general? They're working


very well. We have got 1300 homes that are dry but would be wit. They


do not maintain ourselves and our guys are working 24/7 to make sure


that they are keeping people drive. If the levels are going to go up,


we'll still be enough? We are confident they will still be


protected. We are not expecting 2007 levels here. These are very high


levels but at the moment, they are manageable. It depends what really


get in the future. They much a layman 's question, if you have got


the defence is doing all these good jobs and protecting homes, but as


the water go? It pushes it further downstream. The displacement from a


flood defence is timely, in the scheme of things. Imagine the size


of the flood plain further down, it makes a very tiny difference. We


think of all that before we build any scheme. Thank you very much.


And of course this is a rapidly changing situation. So for all the


best local, up to date information, do tune into your BBC local radio


station. A round up of some other news.


Police are continuing to investigate a fire at a house in Dudley in which


a man died. Officers believe it was started deliberately. A 42`year`old


woman and two boys, aged nine and 15, got out of the house seconds


before the fire took hold at the property in the Holly Hall area on


Saturday. Police say they're not looking for anyone else in


connection with the fire. A kayaker found dead in a flooded


river in Wales has been named as Gareth Lockyer, from Warwick. The


34`year`old got into difficulty whilst on the River Usk in Powys


yesterday afternoon. His family have described him as a kind, caring and


gentle person. Covering 50 acres of a celebrated


landscape with polytunnels would be environmental vandalism, say


villagers in Gloucestershire. Plans by a farmer would allow him to grow


asparagus all year round. But protesters say it would destroy


views revered by some of our greatest poets. Bob Hockenhull


reports. The fields around this village in


Gloucestershire have been admired for decades. Some of our most famous


writers next year. They included World War I poets Edward Thomas and


Rupert Brooke, inspired by the countryside. This is one of the most


important literary landscapes in England. This is only part with the


Lake District, where Wordsworth wrote poetry. Why should this be any


different? Admirers of the poets are horrified modern farming practices


are intruding on the area. Poly tunnels have already been put up on


neighbouring fields. Tomorrow, plans to fill this is the valley with many


more will be discussed by planners. The traditional outdoor asparagus


season is 12 weeks. Henry has the `` says the pouring tunnels will allow


him to grow asparagus all year to meet a growing market. He says it


will prevent so much of the crop having to be imported from Peru,


cutting down on carbon dioxide emissions. Clearly our history is


important that we also have to look to the future. Yes, there will be


some visual impact from certain areas but I do not think it is


changing the landscape that drastically or permanently. The poly


tunnel proposals mean a footpath created in memory of the poets will


have to be changed. At the moment, the footpath follows the hedge at


the edge of the field. If the plans go ahead, instead, people will be


walking along this ridge. The difference of 120 metres. The


friends of the poets have created this small exhibition along the


trail. If I should die, think only this of me, that there is some


corner of a foreign field that is forever England. There shall be in


that rich earth, a richer dust concealed. For them, the words of


their heroes will be forever tainted if this much loved countryside is


covered with a sea of polythene. Poignant words they are too.


Police investigating the disappearance of Nicola Payne have


started to search a nature reserve in Coventry. Nicola went missing in


December 1991 and has never been found. Today, West Midlands Police


began searching in a small area of land in Binley.


Police say an investigation into allegations that the Midlands MEP


Nikki Sinclaire conspired to defraud the European Parliament is proving


to be long and complex. She was arrested in February 2012, with


three other people, as part of an inquiry into allowance and expenses


claims dating from 2010. Ms Sinclaire denies all the allegations


and is currently on bail until the end of May.


For the first time in nearly four years, West Midlands Police are


recruiting new officers. They'll be taking on 450 new constables over


the next two years, from April onwards. You can register your


interest by logging on at the force's website from today.


In football, West Bromwich Albion have slipped into the bottom three


of the Premier League for the first time this season. After four games


in charge, Head Coach Pepe Mel is still without a win. And a clash


with league leaders Chelsea tomorrow is just one of a string of tough


fixtures ahead, as Ian Winter reports.


The rain in Spain is nothing compared to England so he is going


home, not because he is sick of full weather or because Albion have


slumped into the bottom three, oh, no, he is flying his team of four


weeks training in warm sunshine. First, they face the daunting task


of Chelsea. It is difficult because Jose Mourinho, Madrid, inter`Milan,


it is difficult. Albion's problems began long before he arrived in the


Premier League. On Saturday, they were 2`0 down inside the first half


hour at Crystal Palace, and the alarm bells were ringing. Within 36


seconds of coming on, their French loan signing Thievy scored on his


debut to make it 2`1. Then a Palace penalty sealed their fate. Albion


have now won just one of the last 15 Premier League games, not exactly


inspiring confidence before Chelsea, Fulham, and Manchester United all


visit the Hawthorns in the next three weeks. For the next season, it


is my work. The players think it is possible to win tomorrow. Against


the meanest defence in the Premier League? We will see. Villa's woeful


home form shows little sign of improvement. A couple of goals


inside three minutes just after half time allowed Kevin Nolan to claim a


2`0 victory for West Ham. Marc Albrighton was unlucky not to score.


But this result leaves Villa on 27 points, just six more than tomorrow


night's opponents, Cardiff City. And Stoke City are also one of 11 teams


fighting for survival. Twice they levelled the score to earn a 2`2


draw away to Southampton. And they'll now be hoping to go one


better at home to Swansea on Wednesday.


Good luck to Albion tomorrow night. Chelsea are on fire. Now, all


important weather forecast. Thank you very much, Nick. Wherever


you look, brain is not far away. What makes matters worse is the way


it feels. Unlike previous weeks, were temperatures have been above


average for a time of year, this week it is going to be much colder.


We are under this expanse of blue, a cold air mass originating from the


North. Temperatures will start to plummet. There are warnings a plenty


but the one I wanted to highlight as this amber warning, for wind. That


is for Wednesday and applies to Worcestershire, Herefordshire and


Shropshire with gusts of around 60 bells per hour. Because it is amber,


it is more serious and means it is a greater likelihood of cladding. For


other aspects of the weather, we have yellow warnings. It is going to


be unsettled throughout the week, more rain on the way. It will also


turn colder. Rain and cold means we can see problems of ice and snow.


Some of those yellow warnings apply to the rain arriving later on


tonight. To begin with, a few showers. Montreal with a howl tops


to the north. These will clear and then `` wintry on the hilltops to


the North. There could be ice. Later in the night, we see this rain, the


next band of rain, coming in from the West. This will turn heavier


from the early hours of tomorrow. There could be 20 millimetres of


rain in places. Moving rapidly, spurred on by the winds, it could


cost up to 50 mph. It will be followed by drier conditions and


just a sprinkling of showers across the north of the region. Again, they


will turn wintry over the hilltops but otherwise, plenty of sunshine


elsewhere. Now, we are looking at more snow tomorrow night, into the


early hours of Wednesday morning. We have got quite a few areas of white


showing up later in the night. This could lead to between 2`5


centimetres of snow. Thank you very much.


Our main headline tonight is, of course, about the floods both here


and in other parts of the country. In fact, flooding dominates the


news. The Thames has burst its banks, flooding hundreds of homes.


Here the River Severn is causing most concern, with the waters


expected to peak above the levels of the devastating floods of 2007.


Joining me live now is floods expert Mary Dhonau. Mary Dhonau, you know


all about flooding, you've experienced it yourself. I call you


an expert because you have been through it. How do you think it has


been handled? Tremendously well. If we cast our mind back to 2000 and


seven, so many communities along the river, including me, all flooded.


Because of the hard work the Environment Agency has done, many


communities along the Severn just have not flooded this time. I always


have to put a caveat because a flood defence always reduces your risk. It


does not take it away. My word to everybody is to Steve vigilant and


be prepared. How do you think people are coping generally? Generally


speaking, very well. Good old British stoicism. There is nothing


worse than being flooded and I have to say, a huge tribute is due to the


vibrant agency for the sterling work they have done. They have come in


for criticism. I would like to make Eric Pickles into a sandbag equals


he has said things that have been so out of order and morality has to be


kept up because they're working so hard. Tell me this, as somebody who


has been through the experience of having your own flooded, I should


imagine it is devastating question marks it is appalling. There are no


words to describe it. When I went downstairs in the morning and for


the flood water waist deep in my house and when the flood water is


gone there is filth left behind, sewage, stench, you lose everything.


I lost drawings, photographs, my home was lobbed into a skip. Then


you have to become a building for man. You just literally, your life


is torn apart. Thank you very much. Let's hope not too many people go


through that this time. That was the Midlands Today. I'll be


back at 10pm with the very latest on the flooding situation. And we'll be


broadcasting live on this story of course for just as long as the


waters continue to threaten homes and livelihoods. For tonight, stay


dry and stay safe. Goodbye.


Download Subtitles