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Ironbridge holds its breath… AGAIN

Residents of Ironbridge were evacuated today amid fears that the River Severn will breach flood barriers in the Shropshire town as Britain suffered its third storm in less than a week and 33,000 homes remained without power.

More than 450 flood alerts or warnings were in place across the UK after Storm Franklin swept in overnight with rail commuters told to avoid traveling due to flooded rail lines, landslides and evacuations amid 87mph winds.

Environment Agency staff and emergency services were today going door-to-door in Ironbridge telling residents in the Wharfage area, which sits behind temporary flood defenses installed at the weekend, to leave immediately.

Locals in the historic town, which is a World Heritage Site, were also told to move possessions and valuables off the ground or to safety; turn off gas, electricity and water; and take an emergency bag containing medicine.

Ironbridge was also evacuated only two years ago in February 2020 when the force of the Severn pushed similar flood barriers back which gouged the road – and the river also threatened to overwhelm defenses in January 2021.

The Environment Agency said today that there was a ‘risk that the barriers will overtop posing a significant risk to life’ with river levels set to stay high and peak at 7m (23ft) in the nearby village of Buildwas – which would be above the 6.71m (22ft) level during the January 2021 floods, and around the record of 7.04m (23ft) set in 2000.


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