River levels falling but problems remain

Monday 26 November 2012 Updated: 29/11 13:53

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Buy photos » River levels are beginning to fall but serious flooding is still affecting the Vale.

RIVER levels are beginning to fall in the Vale but flooding is still causing major disruption.

Dozens of roads are still closed or just passable with care because of surface water but the area seems to have avoided a repeat of the devastation of July 2007.

In Evesham flood warnings are still in place on the River Avon but at 10.45am this morning (Monday) the level was 3.7 metres and falling after peaking at 3.95 metres. On July 21, 2007 when the town suffered its worst flooding in decades the river peaked at 5.52 metres.

But the flooding has caused plenty of problems in the town with Waterside still closed and a number of disruptions to public transport.

Prince Henry's High School is also closed today with headteacher Dr Tony Evans making the decision last night.

A statement on the school's website says: "Following discussions with both Deputy Headteachers, Mrs Butler and Mr Roberts, I have taken the difficult decision to close Prince Henry’s High School.

"Mrs Butler has been in close contact with the Local Authority this afternoon, and it is now apparent that a significant number of our buses will not be running.

"I am also aware that by opening Prince Henry’s, additional traffic will be placed onto the roads of Evesham and the surrounding areas, and this could potentially exasperate a difficult situation for the emergency and other vital services.

"I would also not want any students to be stranded on buses during their journey to and from school, as this could potentially be the case. My first priority is the safety and welfare of the students and staff at Prince Henry’s High School."

Sedgeberrow First School is also closed as the road leading to the school is impassable.

In Pershore, the B4084 Pershore Bridge is still closed but river levels are beginning to fall. Elsewhere the B4080 Tewkesbury Road in Eckington is closed in both directions between the Cotheridge Lane junction and the the turning for Bredon junction, Eckington Bridge, Besford Bridge and Jubilee Bridge in Fladbury are all shut along with Brook Lane in Cropthorne. Several roads in Hinton-on-the-Green are shut and B4510 in Offenham is closed in both directions at the Three Cocks Lane junction.

In Broadway thousands of people are still being forced to boil their water after the water coming out of the taps was found to be discoloured with a change in taste and odour.

A spokesman from Severn Trent said a team of engineers were working around the clock to fix the problem.

"We have now identified the source of the problem as groundwater entering into our network due to a failure of a water pipe at a local treated water storage reservoir," he said.

"Due to the depth of the main and poor weather conditions it has been a challenge to pinpoint the exact location of where the groundwater has got into the water pipe. We have now located and fixed this failure.

"Thorough tests have eliminated the possibility of sewage having entered the water system.

"We are now working on a programme of flushing to clean the water pipes, and this will continue into next week until we are absolutely certain that our customers’ water supply has got back to its usual high standards.

"The work will begin on Monday, November 26 and will continue for two days.

"We then need to take samples to ensure the water is safe to drink and we expect that to take a further three days."

The spokesman said bottled water would continue to be delivered to those affected every day until the water quality returned.

For more information on the flooding situation visit www.worcestershire.gov.uk or www.wychavon.gov.uk. The latest flood warnings and information can be found at www.environment-agency.gov.uk.

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