Page last updated at 15:02 GMT, Tuesday, 9 September 2008 16:02 UK

New flood defence system unveiled

The River Wye, Hereford. Photo by Tom Galloway
The city's flood defences were successful over the weekend

A major flood defence system in the centre of Hereford is being officially opened this week.

The defences in the Belmont area, designed to protect 196 properties, took 16 months to build at a cost of more than 5m.

A brick wall going all the way along Hinton Road is part of the scheme, which was first considered in 2001.

Project manager Suzanne Bland said the city would no longer be cut in half during severe weather.

Warnings downgraded

"We successfully defended against that this weekend and back in January as well when the defences were only partially built," she said.

Dentist Bob Binnersley, whose surgery is on the Belmont roundabout, which has been affected by flooding before, said the defences have worked.

"The car park at the back of the surgery here floods quite easily and that didn't get any water in it," he said.

The project, which still involves some landscape work, is scheduled to be finished in two weeks.

Flood warnings remained in place on Tuesday afternoon for the River Trent from Yoxall, Staffordshire, to Drakelow, Worcestershire, and for the River Severn between Worcester and Tewkesbury, Gloucestershire.

Villages affected

Warnings on the River Wye have been downgraded to flood watches, with some sections given the all clear.

The Met Office said it was expecting five to 10mm of rain to fall in the West Midlands on Tuesday.

Up to 50 people have been rescued by firefighters in Herefordshire and Worcestershire over recent days because of flooding.

In Worcestershire, Tenbury Wells was hit by flooding for the fourth time in 13 months and the villages of Wolverley and Belbroughton were also affected.

Worcestershire County Cricket Club will play their final two home games of the season at Kidderminster after severe flooding at their New Road ground.


The defences are made up of grassy mounds and new walls

Firefighters save 50 from floods
08 Sep 08 |  Hereford/Worcs
Homes threatened as rivers rise
07 Sep 08 |  England
In Pictures: Floods hit the Midlands
07 Sep 08 |  In Pictures
Home collapses as floods strike
06 Sep 08 |  England
Rain cancels motoring festivals
05 Sep 08 |  England


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