Weather cuts power to 1,000 homes in Gloucestershire

Media captionThe £1.5m Horsbere Brook flood defence scheme is helping to protect more than 350 homes in Gloucester, after heavy rains and winds batter the county.

About 1,000 properties in Gloucestershire are without power due to the bad weather, energy distributor Western Power Distribution has said.

The company said engineers were working on the problem, which is affecting Frampton, Newent and Hartpury.

Gloucestershire Police said the A48 was closed in both directions between Minsterworth and Highnam roundabout.

Cross Country trains were delayed between Cheltenham Spa and Birmingham due to overhead power line problems.

The force also warned of several trees down across the county, particularly in Stroud and Tewkesbury.

The Environment Agency has four flood warnings and seven alerts in place for rivers across the county, including two at the River Frome at Chalford and at Brimscombe and Thrupp.

Further rain

There was also one for the River Severn at the Severn Ham in Tewkesbury and one for the River Avon at Twyning.

Further rain and strong winds are expected, with gusts of up to 60mph predicted.

Gloucestershire Fire and Rescue Service is co-ordinating the emergency response for seven fire and rescue services in the South West.

A spokesman said the "strategic command" would be based at Strensham Services on the M5 and would involve brigades from around the country.

As the evening rush-hour continued, motorists in the county were also being urged to drive carefully.

Image caption Some properties, including this one in Haresfield, have flooded

"Gloucestershire highways and our colleagues at fire and rescue are fully prepared to respond to incidents as they occur, but we would urge drivers particularly to take special care before venturing out, and driving carefully and responsibly," said Jason Humm, highways manager at the county.

'Nowhere to go'

Earlier, both Westonbirt Arboretum, near Tetbury, and Batsford Arboretum, near Moreton-in-Marsh, closed because of the weather.

Dave Throup, from the The Environment Agency (EA), said: "Most of the rivers, with the exception of the Severn, are pretty stable or are dropping off," he said.

"The problem is that there hasn't really been time for them to recover properly, so any rain that we do get - the fields are lakes in some cases - there is just nowhere for it to go."

The £1.5m Horsbere Brook flood defence scheme is helping to protect more than 350 homes homes in the Longlevens and Elmbridge area of Gloucester from flooding.

The project has the capacity to store more than 170,000 cubic metres of water, the equivalent of nearly 70 Olympic swimming pools.

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