10/02/2014 Midlands Today


10/02/2014

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

:00:00.:00:00.

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

:00:00.:00:00.

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

:00:00.:00:09.

tonight: The river level is equal to the

:00:10.:00:13.

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

:00:14.:00:21.

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

:00:22.:00:23.

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

:00:24.:00:27.

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

:00:28.:00:29.

evening: Just downstream homes have been

:00:30.:00:31.

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

:00:32.:00:39.

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

:00:40.:00:42.

but we are still people and still suffering.

:00:43.:00:43.

Busy times for the emergency services rescuing people by boat

:00:44.:00:49.

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

:00:50.:00:53.

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

:00:54.:00:56.

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

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very latest. Good evening from the centre of

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

:01:15.:01:17.

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

:01:18.:01:22.

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

:01:23.:01:27.

devastating floods of 2007. Since then, flood barriers have

:01:28.:01:34.

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

:01:35.:01:39.

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

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learning to live once more with the floods.

:01:44.:01:46.

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

:01:47.:01:50.

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

:01:51.:01:54.

arterial route, was closed to traffic.

:01:55.:01:57.

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

:01:58.:02:01.

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

:02:02.:02:05.

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

:02:06.:02:10.

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

:02:11.:02:14.

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

:02:15.:02:20.

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

:02:21.:02:26.

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

:02:27.:02:30.

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

:02:31.:02:33.

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

:02:34.:02:36.

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

:02:37.:02:42.

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

:02:43.:02:46.

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

:02:47.:02:51.

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

:02:52.:02:54.

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

:02:55.:02:58.

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

:02:59.:03:01.

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

:03:02.:03:06.

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

:03:07.:03:10.

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

:03:11.:03:14.

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

:03:15.:03:16.

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

:03:17.:03:21.

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

:03:22.:03:23.

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

:03:24.:03:30.

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

:03:31.:03:33.

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

:03:34.:03:38.

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

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

:03:42.:03:44.

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

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

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

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weather terrible, absolutely terrible. Unbelievable. The city may

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

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easier. Cath Mackie, BBC Midlands Today, Worcester.

:04:06.:04:07.

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

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

:04:12.:04:14.

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

:04:15.:04:17.

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

:04:18.:04:21.

abandoned, as Steve Knibbs has been finding out.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

:06:24.:06:30.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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Dear oh dear. Downstream from here, flood barriers

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

:07:06.:07:08.

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

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

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

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

:07:27.:07:31.

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

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

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

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

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

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

:07:55.:07:57.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

:08:54.:09:00.

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

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

:09:04.:09:08.

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

:09:09.:09:13.

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

:09:14.:09:19.

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

:09:20.:09:21.

flooding here. Well, a lot of attention has been

:09:22.:09:25.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

:10:02.:10:07.

owners. There are still six trapped in the water.

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

:10:10.:10:13.

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

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

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get a deeper. Graeme MacLeod is rescuing his

:10:25.:10:27.

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

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

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

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

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the floodwaters have become something of a public spectacle on

:10:44.:10:46.

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

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

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

:10:54.:10:58.

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

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in Oswestry this morning. Standing water has made driving conditions

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

:11:13.:11:15.

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

:11:16.:11:20.

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

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

:11:27.:11:30.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

:12:01.:12:04.

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

:12:05.:12:08.

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

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Shrewsbury. Our environment correspondent David

:12:12.:12:14.

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

:12:15.:12:19.

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

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

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

:12:32.:12:36.

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

:12:37.:12:41.

warnings in Hereford. That means people affected should be moving

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

:12:45.:12:49.

protection equipment in place. Bridges in Worcester City Centre,

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

:12:53.:12:55.

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

:12:56.:12:59.

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

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

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

:13:09.:13:11.

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

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

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

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

:13:24.:13:27.

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

:13:28.:13:32.

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

:13:33.:13:35.

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

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

:13:41.:13:45.

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

:13:46.:13:48.

been massive investment in flood defences. The Environment Agency

:13:49.:13:52.

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

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

:13:56.:14:01.

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

:14:02.:14:06.

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

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

:14:12.:14:14.

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

:14:15.:14:19.

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

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yet. Shefali will have the forecast later on.

:14:23.:14:27.

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

:14:28.:14:31.

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

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

:14:41.:14:42.

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

:14:43.:14:47.

going to start to rise again. Worcestershire County Council said

:14:48.:14:50.

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

:14:51.:14:55.

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

:14:56.:14:59.

since 2007 and particularly the rural and remote communities on the

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

:15:04.:15:06.

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

:15:07.:15:09.

worried debris is being swept against bridges blocking the flow

:15:10.:15:12.

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

:15:13.:15:16.

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

:15:17.:15:19.

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

:15:20.:15:22.

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

:15:23.:15:26.

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

:15:27.:15:29.

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

:15:30.:15:35.

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

:15:36.:15:41.

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

:15:42.:15:47.

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

:15:48.:15:51.

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

:15:52.:15:56.

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

:15:57.:15:59.

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

:16:00.:16:03.

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

:16:04.:16:06.

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

:16:07.:16:10.

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

:16:11.:16:15.

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

:16:16.:16:19.

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

:16:20.:16:23.

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

:16:24.:16:28.

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

:16:29.:16:31.

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

:16:32.:16:33.

station. A round up of some other news.

:16:34.:16:37.

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

:16:38.:16:41.

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

:16:42.:16:44.

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

:16:45.:16:48.

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

:16:49.:16:51.

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

:16:52.:16:55.

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

:16:56.:16:59.

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

:17:00.:17:03.

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

:17:04.:17:07.

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

:17:08.:17:13.

gentle person. Covering 50 acres of a celebrated

:17:14.:17:15.

landscape with polytunnels would be environmental vandalism, say

:17:16.:17:23.

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

:17:24.:17:27.

asparagus all year round. But protesters say it would destroy

:17:28.:17:30.

views revered by some of our greatest poets. Bob Hockenhull

:17:31.:17:39.

reports. The fields around this village in

:17:40.:17:42.

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

:17:43.:17:48.

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

:17:49.:17:51.

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

:17:52.:17:57.

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

:17:58.:18:02.

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

:18:03.:18:08.

different? Admirers of the poets are horrified modern farming practices

:18:09.:18:11.

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

:18:12.:18:16.

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

:18:17.:18:21.

more will be discussed by planners. The traditional outdoor asparagus

:18:22.:18:26.

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

:18:27.:18:31.

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

:18:32.:18:35.

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

:18:36.:18:38.

cutting down on carbon dioxide emissions. Clearly our history is

:18:39.:18:43.

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

:18:44.:18:46.

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

:18:47.:18:53.

changing the landscape that drastically or permanently. The poly

:18:54.:18:56.

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

:18:57.:19:01.

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

:19:02.:19:05.

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

:19:06.:19:11.

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

:19:12.:19:17.

friends of the poets have created this small exhibition along the

:19:18.:19:21.

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

:19:22.:19:24.

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

:19:25.:19:30.

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

:19:31.:19:34.

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

:19:35.:19:41.

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

:19:42.:19:43.

Police investigating the disappearance of Nicola Payne have

:19:44.:19:46.

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

:19:47.:19:49.

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

:19:50.:19:53.

began searching in a small area of land in Binley.

:19:54.:19:57.

Police say an investigation into allegations that the Midlands MEP

:19:58.:20:00.

Nikki Sinclaire conspired to defraud the European Parliament is proving

:20:01.:20:06.

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

:20:07.:20:09.

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

:20:10.:20:14.

claims dating from 2010. Ms Sinclaire denies all the allegations

:20:15.:20:17.

and is currently on bail until the end of May.

:20:18.:20:22.

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

:20:23.:20:24.

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

:20:25.:20:28.

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

:20:29.:20:33.

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

:20:34.:20:36.

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

:20:37.:20:40.

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

:20:41.:20:44.

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

:20:45.:20:48.

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

:20:49.:20:51.

fixtures ahead, as Ian Winter reports.

:20:52.:21:00.

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

:21:01.:21:05.

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

:21:06.:21:08.

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

:21:09.:21:13.

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

:21:14.:21:18.

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

:21:19.:21:27.

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

:21:28.:21:33.

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

:21:34.:21:37.

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

:21:38.:21:40.

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

:21:41.:21:44.

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

:21:45.:21:49.

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

:21:50.:21:52.

inspiring confidence before Chelsea, Fulham, and Manchester United all

:21:53.:21:55.

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

:21:56.:22:05.

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

:22:06.:22:09.

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

:22:10.:22:12.

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

:22:13.:22:15.

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

:22:16.:22:19.

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

:22:20.:22:22.

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

:22:23.:22:27.

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

:22:28.:22:32.

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

:22:33.:22:35.

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

:22:36.:22:38.

better at home to Swansea on Wednesday.

:22:39.:22:49.

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

:22:50.:22:57.

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

:22:58.:23:02.

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

:23:03.:23:06.

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

:23:07.:23:09.

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

:23:10.:23:15.

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

:23:16.:23:18.

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

:23:19.:23:22.

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

:23:23.:23:26.

is for Wednesday and applies to Worcestershire, Herefordshire and

:23:27.:23:30.

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

:23:31.:23:35.

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

:23:36.:23:42.

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

:23:43.:23:45.

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

:23:46.:23:50.

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

:23:51.:23:53.

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

:23:54.:23:56.

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

:23:57.:24:07.

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

:24:08.:24:11.

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

:24:12.:24:15.

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

:24:16.:24:23.

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

:24:24.:24:26.

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

:24:27.:24:33.

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

:24:34.:24:36.

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

:24:37.:24:40.

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

:24:41.:24:45.

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

:24:46.:24:49.

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

:24:50.:24:53.

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

:24:54.:24:57.

centimetres of snow. Thank you very much.

:24:58.:25:00.

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

:25:01.:25:04.

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

:25:05.:25:08.

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

:25:09.:25:11.

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

:25:12.:25:14.

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

:25:15.:25:21.

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

:25:22.:25:23.

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

:25:24.:25:27.

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

:25:28.:25:32.

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

:25:33.:25:38.

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

:25:39.:25:42.

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

:25:43.:25:46.

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

:25:47.:25:52.

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

:25:53.:25:55.

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

:25:56.:26:02.

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

:26:03.:26:06.

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

:26:07.:26:09.

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

:26:10.:26:17.

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

:26:18.:26:22.

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

:26:23.:26:26.

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

:26:27.:26:30.

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

:26:31.:26:35.

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

:26:36.:26:39.

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

:26:40.:26:43.

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

:26:44.:26:46.

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

:26:47.:26:50.

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

:26:51.:26:56.

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

:26:57.:27:01.

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

:27:02.:27:07.

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

:27:08.:27:09.

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

:27:10.:27:13.

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

:27:14.:27:17.

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

:27:18.:27:20.

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

:27:21.:27:22.

dry and stay safe. Goodbye.

:27:23.:27:28.

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