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Last Updated: Wednesday, 25 July 2007, 17:59 GMT 18:59 UK
Landslide threatens Severn Valley
Damage caused by June's landslide at Severn Valley Railway
Damage caused by June's landslide at the Severn Valley Railway
Six homes have been evacuated as a possible landslide threatens a steam railway tourist attraction.

Northwood Lane, near Northwood Halt in Worcestershire, has been closed amid fears mud, rock and debris are about to fall onto the track and bungalows.

Severn Valley Railway spokesman David Wilcock said an entire hillside could potentially fall on to the line.

Elsewhere, drivers ignoring signs are hampering efforts to pump water away from a flood-hit village.

About 130 people left Hampton Bishop over the weekend after the River Lugg burst its banks and cannot return until Thursday afternoon at the earliest.

Herefordshire Council said cars had swerved around road signs and were causing disruption to the workers.

Pumping out Hampton Bishop
Pumping work begins in Hampton Bishop, Herefordshire
Spokesman Clive Hall said: "Our work is being hampered by motorists ignoring the signs and having to slam on their brakes as they drive past the signs and are confronted by flooding, workmen and equipment."

The Severn Valley Railway, which runs from Bridgnorth in Shropshire to Kidderminster in Worcestershire, suffered landslides in at least nine locations during June's heavy rain and the repair bill now stands at 2.5m.

Severn Valley Railway spokesman David Wilcock said: "Potentially, we are looking at the prospect of an entire hillside coming onto the railway."

Thieves strike

Elsewhere, Worcestershire County Cricket Club's New Road ground was targeted by thieves who stole cricket bats while it was hit by flooding over the weekend.

Vicarage Nurseries in Bretforton, near Evesham, which was also flooded, was also broken into with cash and personal items taken.

"While tens of thousands of people were pulling together to help those less fortunate than themselves, a handful of uncaring and unscrupulous opportunist thieves were busy helping themselves to someone else's property," a police spokesman said.

Flood defences in Bewdley, Worcestershire, have been taken down as water levels continue to fall and a major clean-up has begun in the Malvern Hills area.

Some areas of Tenbury Wells, Upton-on-Severn, Powick and Kempsey were badly hit and are still under water.

Silt and mud

In Upton, where water levels peaked at 5.92m (19.4ft) on Sunday the levels stood at 5.23m (17.1ft) on Thursday afternoon.

Malvern Hills District Council leader Serena Croad said: "The deluge has left a trail of silt, mud and rubbish strewn across the area but we are endeavouring to clean up as quickly as possible."

Across Worcestershire roads have reopened, although a few remain closed including Hylton Road in Worcester and the B4080 road over Eckington Bridge.

Worcester City Council is issuing leaflets about flood-related reductions in council tax and business rates.

Train services are also still affected. Services are running as normal between Birmingham New Street and Great Malvern but buses are replacing services between Great Malvern and Hereford.

The line between Oxford and Worcester via Evesham is closed and is expected to remain closed until 6 August at the earliest.

Boil water

More than 5,200 residents in Herefordshire are being urged to boil their water until further notice.

Residents living in the Bromyard area have been told to boil water after flooding affected a treatment works near Worcester.

Regional development agency Advantage West Midlands has said an extra 1m of flood aid will be distributed across five councils in the West Midlands.

Malvern Hills and Wychavon in Worcestershire will receive a share along with South Shropshire, Stratford-upon-Avon and Bridgnorth.

A severe flood warning remains on the River Severn between Worcester and Tewkesbury, including Upton-on-Severn and Kempsey.




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