Page last updated at 16:16 GMT, Saturday, 6 September 2008 17:16 UK

Home collapses as floods strike

Ham Bridge over the River Teme at Clifton upon Teme. Photo by Simon Edwards
The level of the River Teme has risen sharply

A house has collapsed and several homes and roads have been flooded after more heavy rain hit Herefordshire and Worcestershire.

A cottage in Belbroughton fell in but no-one was believed to be inside, West Mercia Fire Service said.

Firefighters were also trying to divert water from the flooded Dolan Park Hospital in Tardebigge, Worcestershire.

Five people have been rescued from cars. About 12 people were earlier rescued from floods in Tenbury Wells.

Homes and businesses on Market Street, in the town centre, were evacuated after the Kyre Brook burst its banks on Friday.

Flood barriers have been put up in Bewdley, Worcester and Upton-upon-Severn as a precaution.

Increased flooding risk

The Met Office said up to 22mm (0.9 ins) of rain had been predicted to fall in some areas in just three hours during Saturday afternoon.

Road into Tenbury Wells taken by the Reverend Ian Williams
Police said some roads in Tenbury Wells were impassable

The Environment Agency said the threat of flooding was likely to increase as rainwater drained into river systems.

Flood warnings have been issued for the Severn, Avon, Wye, Teme and Stour rivers.

In Tenbury Wells, an emergency centre set up at St Michael's Common for those forced to leave their homes has since been shut.

Surface water

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

A family with five children escaped from a car trapped in 3ft (90cm) of water near the town.

Tenbury Wells' former mayor Bob Martin said repairs to flood defences damaged during last summer's floods had not been finished.

He said better flood defences were needed.

He added: "If we lose the businesses, and many of them are now telling me this morning that they've had enough and they want to shut down, we lose our town.

"The Environment Agency should take notice - we're losing a town here, not just 70-odd business."

In Upton-upon-Severn, which was cut off by floods last year, the river levels are expected to rise by a further 1.6ft (0.5m) overnight to more than 16ft (5m).

At their height in 2007 they were at 19ft (5.93m).

Ch Supt Viv Howells, of West Mercia Police, said: "We are continuing to monitor the situation and are liaising closely with our partner organisations.

"Some localised flooding is being experienced and there is a large amount of surface water on the roads. However, there is no cause for major concern."

Several roads have been closed in the two counties.

In Worcestershire, these include the A456 at Tenbury Wells and the A443 at Eardiston and Great Whitley. Hylton Road in Worcester is also closed to traffic.

In Herefordshire, the A4103 at Newtown is closed in both directions but the A465 at Stoke Lacy, which was submerged under 2ft 6in (76cm) of water, has reopened.

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