10/02/2014 Midlands Today


10/02/2014

The latest news, sport and weather for the Midlands.


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Good evening. Flooding has continued to cause

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major disruption across large parts of the Midlands. Flood barriers are

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in place in Shrewsbury, Bewdley, and Ironbridge. In Worcester, the city

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was effectively cut in two with the closure of the city centre bridge.

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The River Severn there has already reached the level of the devastating

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floods of 2007 and it's expected to get even higher tomorrow. Cath

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Mackie reports. First light in Worcester, and the

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sun rises revealing a city under water, and a city almost cut in two.

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The historic bridge, a major arterial route, was closed to

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

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on the outskirts thousands of commuters were forced to find

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another way in. The swans too were forced off`course as the river and

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road merged into one by Gheluvelt Park. People living nearby waded

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home, but at least their flood barriers were stopping the water

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from getting inside. The river has been up and down. I am worried about

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later in the week as it will come up again. Other than that...

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The central bus station is currently closed, and buses diverted. Road

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works too have been suspended. But by lunchtime, some good news ` the

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bridge was partially opened to traffic. People are working around

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the clock. Given the forecast and the amount of rain that is coming

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down now or could come down the river, we cannot rule out the

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possibility of having to close it again.

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With more rain expected, the river levels will be going up and down all

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week so we can expect more road closures and more disruption, and

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that'll impact on the local economy. Businesses are worried if they

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cannot get people into shop or eat or whatever it may be. But we have

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the bridge open as soon as we could. We'll keep managing it.

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

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anybody to get through to deliver anything to us. They have not been

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able to. As soon as we saw the impact yesterday, I knew it would be

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a quiet day today. Hopefully, it only lasts for maybe today and

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tomorrow and then we can get back to business.

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Since the big flood of 2007, millions have been spent on flood

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defences along the Severn, and today they held. But Worcester's

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floodwaters remain a wonder to behold. I have come from Manchester

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and it rains a lot there, but nothing like this. It is terrible.

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Absolutely terrible. The city may have witnessed scenes

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like this before, but it doesn't make it any easier.

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Further downstream, flood barriers have been protecting most homes in

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Upton`on`Severn. But there's still been serious disruption to many

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people's lives, with bridges closed and roads impassable. More now from

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Ben Sidwell. Been pulled to safety, another

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victim of this winter's flood. Despite defences, overnight her home

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and eventually succumbed to the rising water. It was coming in, yes.

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Everything has been lifted or taken upstairs that we can. She is not

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alone. One of her neighbours, who also had to be rescued, when he

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moved into his house in October. It has been flooded 80 times since

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Christmas, but it has not come into the houses. It has found a way in

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now. `` a few times. To give you some idea of just how

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bad the river is, take a look behind me. That area there were a few

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things are sticking out of the water is a caravan park. From the boat, it

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is easy to see the extent of the flooding all around. It is coming up

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so quickly. It is getting people to a safe position as quickly as

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possible. It is currently 5.4 metres above its normal level. As you can

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see, it does have some weight to go to match the level in 2007. `` some

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way. There is some good news, for the majority here the flood defences

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are working and holding back the river. As someone else was rescued,

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the worry is that with more rain forecast, they may not have seen the

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worst of it yet here. Back now to Worcester and our

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reporter, Liz Copper. Liz, what's the latest on the situation there?

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River levels are still very high. They are expected to rise again

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during the course of tomorrow. There are still some road closures and

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diversions here in the city centre and there are also expected to

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remain tomorrow. Business leaders are keen to point out that this is a

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city very much still open for business and any disruption will be

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kept to an absolute minimum. The Environment Agency, who as you

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expect will be monitoring things right through the night, and they

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are confident that flood defences will hold. We are confident that the

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flood defences will hold and work. Were not expecting 2007 levels. But

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they are manageable at the moment. `` we are not. It's not just

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Worcestershire, what other parts of our region have been affected?

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Tonight, across the region there are 44 flood warnings and 24 flood

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alerts. In Herefordshire, the River Wye proves quite a spectacle with

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some coming to watch the racing floodwaters. It was very dangerous.

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Six motorists had to be rescued by firefighters. Some villagers in

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Herefordshire 's `` some villages in Herefordshire are only passable in a

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4x4. In Shrewsbury, drivers who left their cars near a bridge were caught

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out by the raving `` the raising speed of the River Severn. The

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Environment Agency `` near Brent agency say that levels are

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manageable. `` the Environment Agency.

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And for the all latest information on the floods and how they're

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affecting the roads where you live, be sure to listen to your local

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radio station for regular updates. That's all from me. We'll be back at

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Breakfast from 6am tomorrow morning. The weather's next.

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Well. It's an eventful week weather`wise to say the least.

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Adding to our worries. We have not just got rain, but the drop in

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overall temperatures is going to mean a risk of ice, frost and snow

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for which there are yellow warnings. Even more serious than yellow though

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is the amber warning for strong winds in the West and Southwest of

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the region for Wednesday. Those will also be accompanied by heavy rain.

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At the moment out there though we have largely dry conditions and

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clear skies with a touch of frost and ice starting to develop as

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temperatures plunge just into negative numbers for rural spots. So

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that will continue for a time tomorrow morning with squally winds

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and producing between ten and 20mm of rain followed by a drier,

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brighter afternoon but still blustery and a top temperature of

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seven Celsius. A more detailed look at the national picture is next.

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I will leave you Good evening. You have my permission

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to complain about too many repeats with the British weather at the

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moment because yet again it looks as though our winter weather is set to

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continue with a repeat of last week. Sunny spells and scattered showers

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today and this is the next area of low pressure pushing in from the

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west. It influences our weather for the rest of the week. More rain to

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come and gales and severe gales to come. Ice is a possible risk. That

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means a cumulative total perhaps or 40-70 millimetres and that is an

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extra two to three inches. It will exacerbate the flooding we have

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already got across England at the moment. The cloud, wind and rain is

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already pushing in from the west. There will be a widespread frost.

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Ice could be a problem first thing in Northern Ireland. Snow in the

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hills and maybe in the North East of Scotland we could see snow at lower

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levels. Rain through northern England and Wales and Somerset. Some

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of that rain could be quite intense coupled with squally, gusty winds on

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exposed coasts. In the east it starts off relatively dry, but it

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will not be long before the wind and the rain spreads further east. Up

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into the North the snow showers continue on the hills, but by the

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end of the afternoon we could see wet snow even at lower levels. A

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cold day. There is a potential for some snow showers at lower levels

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across England and Wales on Tuesday night and into Wednesday. On

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Wednesday it is this area of low pressure which is the main factor in

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Wednesday's weather. More wet and windy weather. An early amber

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warning has already been issued from the South West. Severe gales are

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likely as we continue to see some very wet weather coming into central

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and southern areas. The strongest winds follow in behind those

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showers. In Scotland you are probably wondering what the

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