Police have warned that people living along the River Severn could face another days of flooding misery with more rain showers predicted to sweep across affected areas.
Environment Agency officials and engineers were continuing to monitor a barrier at Ironbridge in Shropshire on Thursday after the weight of water caused it to buckle, prompting an emergency evacuation.
Severe flood warnings – meaning there is a danger to life – remain in place at Ironbridge. The agency said it was possible that the depth of flood water at the Wharfage in Ironbridge could reach 1.8m.
The situation was so dangerous that the authorities were using drones and remote cameras feeding images back to a control center so officers did not have to risk their lives to monitor the situation.
Though the river level was starting to fall, West Mercia police warned that more rain was predicted, which could top up the Severn again.
Its deputy chief constable, Julian Moss, said: “The multi-agency response is set to continue for the next 22 days as the flood waters are set to recede quite slowly and are likely to be topped up again with additional rain over the weekend and at the end of next week.
“We would therefore ask people to take this into consideration when making accommodation arrangements for themselves and any pets or livestock.”
To make the situation even more difficult, there was a covering of snow on Thursday in parts of Shropshire. A yellow weather warning for snow was in place.
Alex Burkill of the Met Office said: “It’s not just the snow, there’s going to be a fair bit of rainfall mixed in with it. It’s not going to be large amounts, between 10 – mm of rain in some places, but it could be falling on heavily saturated areas. ”