Residents well prepared for floods says council leader

By Gary Smee Thursday 29 November 2012 Updated: 06/12 13:27

Latest News

Buy photos » The Vale escaped a repeat of the July 2007 floods.

THE LEADER of Wychavon District Council said he believes residents were better prepared than ever to cope with the serious flooding which hit the area this week.

Dozens of roads were closed, schools shut, and worried home and business owners piled up sandbags outside their properties as the River Avon burst its banks in Evesham, Pershore and surrounding villages but with the floodwater receding over the last couple of days the Vale appears to have escaped relatively unscathed compared to the devastation of five years ago.

Around two dozen properties were flooded in the district compared to more than 1,500 when the area suffered its worst flooding in 60 years back in July 2007.

And while the River Avon peaked at 3.95 metres on Sunday - more than a metre and a half less than in 2007 - council leader Paul Middlebrough said he believed investment in flood defences and better warnings had helped save homes and businesses this time around.

"The impact of flooding is without a doubt devastating, but we’ve done a lot to help minimise the full force of the floods not just by distributing sandbags, we’ve spent £1.2 million on flood alleviation schemes since 1998.

"Early indications are telling us that the amount of properties affected has been dramatically reduced.

"Residents are without a doubt better prepared and flood alleviation schemes, certainly in Wychavon, have done their job saving hundreds of residents from the pain and destruction that can be caused. We’ve worked with landowners to get ditches cleared regularly, taking action where needed, supplied flood grants to residents who needed help with flood gates and other equipment and undertaken more innovative projects such as the Harvington Community Orchard which gets underway this week."

In Evesham, Waterside finally re-opened on Wednesday after being shut for a week and Pershore Bridge is now open. But some drivers ignored the closed signs at Pershore Bridge and drove through prompting anger from townsfolk. A group of residents were forced to help bail water out from the house at the bottom of Bridge Street on Sunday as the waves from passing vehicles threatened to flood it.

Pershore resident Trudy Burge slammed the stupidity of some motorists. "They were not only risking their own lives but also those of the emergency services and the home of a family with young children," she said.

As we went to print the River Avon had been downgraded from flood warning status to flood alert. But with little or no rain forecast for the next few days levels should return to normal by early next week.

For more information on the flooding situation visit or The latest flood warnings and information can be found at

Popular »

1 Take a chance on Waterloo show

2 Charity steps in to get Lewis back on the road

3 Looking good for award

4 Mums and dads can pick up a bargain

5 Celebrations as Nora reaches 104

More news »

Motorcyclist killed in Pershore crash

A MOTORCYLIST has died following a crash in

More burglaries prompts police appeal

CHILDREN'S Christmas presents, cash and jewellery were all

Croome Court to star in BBC Christmas special

MILLIONS of viewers will be able to learn

Benefit cheats told to pay back cash

TWO BENEFIT cheats have been ordered to pay

Regional news »

Leamington Observer
Residents and traders asked for ideas to improve Old Town

RESIDENTS and traders are being asked for their ideas for ...

Stratford Observer
District council hands over £2,215 of travel tokens to charity

STRATFORD District Council has handed over £2,215 worth of unused ...

Redditch Standard
Fears for Redditch patients after Worcester meltdown

CAMPAIGNERS fighting to save services at the Alexandra Hospital have ...

Worcester Observer

Visit the Worcester Observer website for the latest.