13/02/2014 Midlands Today


13/02/2014

The latest news, sport and weather for the Midlands.


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We have been talking to people coping with the floods. They rolled

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across the bridge. Army troops helping out. 100 troops from the

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Royal Irish here in Worcester and I have another 300 troops and vehicles

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on standby for the whole of the West Mercia area. We'll have a command

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centre at Worcester police station, where we co`ordinate military

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activity across the area and those resources will be working with

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police officers to work out where we can best get the Army out. From the

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air, the vast expanse of water is breath`taking. Whilst some areas

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have have been flooded, the defences along the River Severn in

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Worcestershire are still holding. These flats were evacuated yesterday

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by the river. Today, we found one couple who had waded back in. We

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came back to check in. How is it? Dry at the moment. What are you

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being told to expect? Well, another inch of rain tomorrow. It could be

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worse than what it is now. Do you think you'll stay for now? We're

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staying until tea`time and then we're going up to the Travel Lodge.

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Levels in Worcester remain high, but the sunshine was bringing people out

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and back into the city centre. I've walked into town and I'm going to go

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down to the bridge to see how bad it is compared to the previous years.

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The shops are fine. I was in work yesterday and that was packed. It's

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not stopping people coming in. But the drop if visitors is still a

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worry for business. Getting people back into the city, despite the road

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closures, remains a priority. This is causing a lot of distress for a

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lot of people. The centre has been in lockdown, even though the shops

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are open and car parks are there. Most of the car parks, two thirds,

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have been open. The good news is the city centre is still open for

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business. The bad news ` this river isn't going to be going down

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significantly any time soon, which means road closures and more

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disruption for some time yet. The longer it goes on, the tougher it

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gets, but for one shop, business is up. They're buying lots of wellies,

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they're literally walking out of store. Worcester has endured many

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floods before and they're confident here they'll survive this one,

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however long it takes. That gives you a good idea about how

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the people are coping down on the ground around the floodwater. Today,

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the BBC helicopter was up in the skies above the city taking pictures

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which graphically illustrate just how severe the flooding is. As you

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can see if these pictures, Worcestershire county cricket ground

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is completely under water. The start of the new season is just two months

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away. Earlier I spoke to Dave Throup from the Environment Agency and I

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asked him what we can expect in the days ahead. The story will be about

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surface water and the smaller rivers reacting, so a lot of trouble on the

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roads. That will feed into the main river and push levels up slightly.

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Away from the floods, high winds have been battering parts of our

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region, with particular problems in Staffordshire and Shropshire. We

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have reports from both counties, starting with Liz Copper, who

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reports on an extraordinary picture of a school roof tumbling across the

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county. Repairs under way at homes in Stoke after a huge sheet of steel

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sliced through roof tops. This was the scene last night, as rescue

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teams were called to remove the enormous piece of metal, which had

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flown through the skies, caught by the storm`force winds. Neighbours

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described their relief. Nobody was seriously hurt. Frightening. I

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thought it was a bomb. We didn't know whether it was a gas explosion.

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All we could see, I went in the garden, all I could see was

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something hanging over the roof. Great big massive thing. Very lucky

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nobody was hurt. Very, very lucky indeed. Especially how it crashed

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through that bungalow. Families whose homes have been damaged are

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now staying with friends and relatives. We opened the front door

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and you hear the whistling sound and the thing landed. It was scary and

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nervous. We were in shock. The sheeting had been ripped from a

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nearby school, before becoming embedded in the roof tiles. This is

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just one of many, many incidents dealt with by the emergency services

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last night. In a little more than two hours, Staffordshire police took

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more than 1,000 calls. In the police control room they described events

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as unprecedented. The volume of calls was much higher than we

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normally anticipate. It was certainly as much as we would expect

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on a business Friday Friday or Saturday and enup to the level for

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New Year's Eve. As work continues to make the homes safe, emergency teams

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are bracing themselves for more unsettled weather ahead.

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There are more dramatic scenes in Shropshire, where the gales for

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roofs from buildings. Schools are closed and trees uprooted. The

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dramatic moment a roof is torn off a training centre in Whitchurch.

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Hurling through the air and damaging four cars on a neighbouring office

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car park. Meanwhile, in Shrewsbury, the damage caused by another flying

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roof. This time at Wilfred Owen Primary School. Pieces of metal and

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fibreglass now entwined with toys in a playground reserved for the

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youngest children here. Very frightening. We had children in

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school still at that moment, because we had extended clubs running. We

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had to make sure the children and staff were safe and we could

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evacuate them as quickly as possible and get them away. There's obviously

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quite significant damage. Some very upset children when they realised

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what happened. Parts of the roof also wreaked havoc for another

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school sharing the same site. Severndale is the country's largest

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school for children with special needs and the clean`up operation

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will need to be meticulous. We have on the spectrum and children with

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severe learning difficulties who don't understand the dangers, so

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they could pick up some fibreglass up and that's dangerous, so we have

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to make sure that the areas are exceptionally clean. It's much

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calmer today, but yesterday this is the roof from the school and it

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travelled all the way from there right the way around to neighbouring

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homes. There are sheets of metal and fibreglass all hurtling through the

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air. It was just like in America where you see the storms. Elsewhere,

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Shropshire council workers spent much of the day dealing with scores

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of trees, which fell victim to the weather. From floods to gales,

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seemingly no let`up in the chaos being caused by the elements.

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And you can see more of the week's flooding pictures on our Facebook

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page. Don't forget, for the late ef information on the floods and how

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they're affecting where you line, tune into your BBC radio station for

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the latest: That's it from me from Worcester at

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the end of a very unusual dry day. Unfortunately, I don't think it's

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going to last. Now the forecast with Rebecca.

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We have a Met Office yellow weather warning in place for more heavy rain

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tomorrow and strong winds to come as well. Overnight, the riSk is a

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colder one, because we see the temperatures falling away under

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clearer skies so we'll get patchy frost developing. Some icy stretches

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coming tomorrow morning. Temperatures hover around freezing

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overnight. Winds easing, but as we start tomorrow, we have this next

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band of heavy rain working its way up from the south`west. Ahead of

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that, we'll start to see the cloud building and then that rain making

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its way through the early hours of tomorrow. On the leading edge, we

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could see is turning pour wintery and the rain sticks with us through

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the day. Another 25 millimetres. Gust of wind really picking up, up

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to 50mph. The national picture is on the way.

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few days and now we go to the weather centre for the national

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forecast from Nick Miller. Hello, in this winter of perpetual

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autumn,

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