Page last updated at 20:46 GMT, Friday, 5 September 2008 21:46 UK

Town evacuated after brook bursts

Road into Tenbury Wells taken by the Reverend Ian Williams
Police say some roads in Tenbury Wells are impassable

Parts of a town centre were evacuated and a refuge centre opened as rising flood waters threatened Tenbury Wells in Worcestershire.

People were told to leave their houses and businesses near Kyre Brook when it burst its banks and flooded Market Street.

Hereford and Worcester Fire and Rescue Service said an emergency centre had been set up at St Michael's Common.

Last year, the town was hit by flooding when the River Teme burst its banks.

The Met Office has issued severe weather warnings across the West Midlands and said rainfall of 15 to 25 mm (0.6 to 1in) within three hours was expected in places

Recent torrential rain has caused disruption

A spokesman for West Mercia Police said on Friday evening officers were assessing flooding problems in Tenbury Wells.

Tina Beeston, the publican of the Market Tavern in Tenbury Wells, said about eight businesses in the town had already been flooded and hers was also at serious risk.

"At the moment we're flooded up the whole of Market Street," she said.

"It's [the water] about 20 yards (18m) outside our door now. I should say there's probably eight premises that are already flooded, so these are businesses that have only just picked themselves back up again.

"So it's looking pretty grim for the businesses in Tenbury Wells."

A family with five children escaped from a car trapped in 3ft (90cm) of water near the town and firefighters are reported to have rescued about three other people from cars stuck in water.

Flood warnings

Many roads in Worcestershire and Herefordshire have been swamped by floodwater.

Man in Abberley, Worcestershire
Abberley has also seen flooding after heavy rain

The main route between Tenbury Wells and Bromyard was said to be impassable.

Other routes have been described as passable with care, although the A465 at Stoke Lacy, near Bromyard, Herefordshire, was submerged under 2ft 6in of water.

In Abberley, Worcestershire, some cars were abandoned as flash flooding deluged roads.

The Highways Agency has warned motorists to slow down because of high levels of surface water in some areas and warning signs about the conditions are in operation on motorways.

Elsewhere three flood warnings have been issued for Herefordshire as heavy rain sweeps across the West Midlands.

The Environment Agency issued the warnings for the River Wye, including Hereford and towards Ross on Wye.

And concerns have been raised over rising water levels at the Merton Meadow car park in Hereford.

Warning signs

In Bridgnorth, the fords at Neen Savage, Borle Mill and Wig Wig have been closed because of rising water levels.

Shropshire County Council said they were unlikely to reopen on Friday and would be monitored over the weekend.

Elsewhere, the weekend's annual Coventry Festival of Motoring and the Classic Car Show at Himley Hall, Dudley, on Sunday have been cancelled.

More severe flood warnings are in force in other parts of England as well as across Wales.

Forecasters have said heavy showers are expected to continue across the UK on Saturday, with it gradually drying up on Sunday.

Hereford Times Floods - road closure update - 2 hrs ago
Rye and Battle Observer Pair taken to hospital after canoe capsize - 15 hrs ago

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