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Government urged to rethink flood cash

The government's being urged to rethink how it awards money to residents, councils and farmers when there's severe flooding in the future.

Floodwater surrounding Upton upon Severn
PA Media

All seven council leaders in Worcestershire have signed a letter to Communities Secretary Robert Jenrick asking for the financial support to be revised.

They've also asked for ministers to allow county and district councils to make one claim for a county rather than individual ones, so staff can concentrate on flood support.

The letter adds that support for farmers should be improved too as they have been "badly affected" by Storm Dennis.

The government said it had given thousands of pounds of support following the recent storms and had organised a taskforce to give individual areas "bespoke support".

Your weather: A cloudy night ahead with patchy rain ahead

BBC Weather

It will be a cloudy night with some patchy rain and drizzle with lows of 8C (46F).

Robin
BBC Weather Watchers / Littleacorns

It will be a windy day tomorrow with some sunny spells and showers with highs of 12C (54F).

You can find a detailed forecast for your area on the BBC Weather site.

Ambulance staff 'cancelled leave to help during floods'

Allen Cook

BBC News

Hundreds of ambulance staff and dozens of 4x4 vehicles had to be called into action over the past week to cope with the major floods in the West Midlands, the ambulance service has said.

Paramedics with person rescued from floodwater
West Midlands Ambulance Service

Having bought more of the specialist ambulances this winter, 30 of them were sent out from the time Storm Dennis swept across the region.

Heavy rain saw large parts of Shropshire, Herefordshire and Worcestershire flooded, especially along the rivers Teme, Severn and Wye.

Ambulances in front of floodwater
West Midlands Ambulance Service

West Midlands Ambulance Service said it also used its eight hazardous area response staff, an extra flood rescue team and had 400 ambulance crews working during the worst of the flooding.

Chief Executive Anthony Marsh praised his staff who "responded magnificently" and said many had volunteered to give up rest days or cancel annual leave to provide cover this week.

Help for flood-hit households

Worcestershire County Council says flood-hit households will be eligible for up to £500 in hardship payments, as well as being given up to three months of council tax relief.

Herefordshire and Shropshire councils have offered the same, as residents and business across the region continue to count the cost of Storm Dennis.

Letters are being hand-delivered to homes in flood affected areas covered by Telford and Wrekin Council today outlining what it can offer to residents to help them get back on their feet.

A dedicated flood advice line has been set up in Worcestershire, with Herefordshire residents offered a free service to collect flood-damaged household items.

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Video: What's the weather got in store?

Rich Davis

BBC Weather presenter

It will be a windy but dry day with highs of 11C (52F).

Latest weather for the West Midlands

Video: Your 50-second weather forecast

Sara Blizzard

BBC Weather

It will be a morning of sunshine and blustery showers before heavier rain moves in later with highs of 9C (48F).

Latest weather for the West Midlands

Floods situation 'deteriorating'

The Environment Agency said the situation in parts of Herefordshire and Worcestershire was "deteriorating".

"It is a serious situation. Travel is extremely difficult," Dave Throup said.

"This is not normal flooding, so please avoid travelling in this area if you can possibly do so."

More evacuations 'may be necessary'

More residents could be evacuated from their homes in Worcestershire this afternoon, the county council has warned.

Although in some areas river levels are dropping, they are set to rise again over the next few hours, peaking during the evening.

Worcester
BBC

"The Environment Agency, West Mercia Police, Hereford and Worcester Fire and Rescue Service, local authorities and ambulance service are working together and residents in some areas may be evacuated this afternoon", it said in an update.

"Flood barriers are in place throughout the region and more may be erected later today as necessary."

About 130 properties have been flooded in Tenbury Wells alone.

Green light for government floods funding

Norman Smith

Assistant political editor

The government has announced it is activating its emergency funding scheme to help areas hit by Storm Dennis.

Ministers have agreed to allow a number of affected local councils to apply for funding under the Bellwin scheme.

The scheme allows councils to apply for 100% of the non-insurable costs they incur to deal with storm damage.

The areas approved include in Nottinghamshire, Leicestershire, Derbyshire, Shropshire, Telford and Wrekin, Worcestershire and Herefordshire.

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Major incident declared in Shropshire

Police have declared a major incident following flooding in Shropshire.

Similar incidents in nearby Worcestershire and Herefordshire have also been announced.

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Your weather forecast: A cloudy night ahead of Storm Dennis

BBC Weather

It will be mainly cloudy this evening with some drizzle and lows of 7C (45F).

Shrewsbury
BBC Weather Watchers/Grum

It will be a very wet and windy Saturday with outbreaks of heavy rain for much of the day and gales expected.

Yellow warnings for rain and wind are in place for much of the West Midlands until midnight on Sunday.

You can find a detailed forecast for your area on the BBC Weather site.

Warning storm could cause rail delays and cancellations

BBC News Travel

Rail passengers are being warned there could be delays and cancellations this weekend, because of Storm Dennis.

West Midlands Trains pointed out Storm Ciara had left "some areas of land already saturated and tree branches weakened".

West Midlands Train
BBC

Last weekend Network Rail workers had to go out to clear fallen trees and other debris from the lines and also repair damaged overhead cables.

Flood barriers deployed in Hereford

Flood defences are to be put up in Hereford on the River Wye due to the forecast of heavy rain over the weekend, said the Environment Agency.

Defences are already up in Shrewsbury and Bewdley, said agency manager Mark Bowers.

Drivers are being warned of car park closures in Shrewsbury due to the flood barriers.

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Video: Your 50-second weather forecast

Rich Davis

BBC Weather presenter

It will be a generally dry day with sunny spells in the morning and some patchy drizzle this afternoon and highs of 12C (54F).

Latest weather for the West Midlands

Your weather forecast: A dry and clear night in store

BBC Weather

Any evening showers should die out leaving a dry night with clear spells and lows of 0C (32F).

Sedgley
BBC Weather Watchers/Anna L

It will be a dry morning before cloud thickens with rain moving in on Friday afternoon.

You can find a detailed weather forecast for your area on the BBC Weather site.

Roads and rivers cleared ahead of Storm Dennis

Work is taking place to ready rivers and roads ahead of Storm Dennis, expected to hit the region on Saturday.

There's currently a rolling closure of the M5 northbound and southbound in Worcestershire for central reservation gullies to be cleaned.

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Debris screens are being cleared and flood defences deployed.

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Video: Your 50-second weather forecast

Alex Hamilton

BBC Weather

It will be a breezy day with sunny spells and showers with highs of 9C (48F).

Latest weather for the West Midlands

Weather: Stormy weather forecast to return

BBC Weather

Enjoy the sunshine while you can, because the wind and rain is forecast to return tomorrow.

The Met Office is issuing more yellow weather warnings for the area and by the weekend we'll have high winds similar to the ones we saw last weekend.

Bodenham
Step counter

Police make eight burglary arrests

Eight men have been arrested today in connection with a series of burglaries across Worcestershire, Shropshire and Birmingham.

West Mercia Police said the crimes involved the theft of 26 cars between 17 December and 7 February, after thieves had broken into homes to get car keys.

Police car door
BBC

The eight men are aged between 16 and 24 and are all from Worcestershire, Birmingham or the Black Country.

Flooding levels falling, but more on the way

Flooding is continuing to cause problems across the West Midlands, with a number of Environment Agency flood alerts still in place around rivers.

There is also a flood warning for the River Severn in Shrewsbury, but water levels are expected to fall over the next couple of days.

Flooding near Buildwas
BBC

The Environment Agency warned that river levels could rise again, with more stormy weather forecast at the weekend.

Weather: Sunshine and snow forecast

BBC Weather

Depending on where you are in the West Midlands, you could have sunshine, or snow, or a mixture of both tomorrow.

Staffordshire is the area most likely to see a snow shower, while temperatures could be as high as 7C (45F) in other parts of the region.

Temperatures tonight will be around freezing.

Lydbury North
Ken M

Flood warnings continue

River levels across the West Midlands are expected to remain high and the Environment Agency still has flood warnings in place for parts of the River Severn in Shropshire.

It also has flood alerts for the rivers Lugg, Wye, Avon, Trent and Dene, among others.

Flood
BBC

The Environment Agency also said that with the rain set to continue, it expected the flooding to remain for a number of days.

Flooded road
BBC

Your weather forecast: A cold and clear night in store

After the snow in some parts of the region, it'll be a dry night with clear spells and lows of 0C (32F).

Bromyard
BBC Weather Watchers/Mrs Baggins

A warning for snow and ice remains in place for the Staffordshire Moorlands which could cause further travel disruption to that we told you about earlier.

You can find a detailed weather forecast for your area on the BBC Weather site.

Flooding 'likely' across the region

Flood warnings have been issued for the River Vyrnwy at Maesbrook and Melverley in Shropshire and the River Weaver at Shrewbridge Lodge near Nantwich.

High river
BBC Weather Watchers/ Coldhilldip

Dozens of less serious flood alerts are also in place across the region with water likely to affect low-lying roads.

Further rainfall is forecast over the next 24 hours, said the Environment Agency.

Storm Ciara: Hundreds still without power

About 400 properties are still without power across the West Midlands after Storm Ciara swept through the region.

Fallen Tree
Sutton Walker

Western Power Distribution said it had restored supplies to 115,000 customers in its area on Sunday with restorations still ongoing.

Flooding continues to cause problems for rail passengers on the West Coast Main Line, with no trains running north of Preston because of flooding at Carlisle.

Storm Ciara: Revised rail services

BBC News Travel

Storm Ciara is still affecting rail travel across the region due to trees falling on to the overhead power lines.

Network Rail has been assessing damage to lines and passengers are urged to check their routes before travelling.

West Midlands Railway will not operate services between Stafford and Wolverhampton and Rugely to Walsall.

A revised hourly train service will also be in place between Crewe and Stafford via Stoke-on-Trent.

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Video: Your 50-second weather forecast

Alex Hamilton

BBC Weather

It will remain windy today with some showers and highs of 7C( 45F).

Latest weather for the West Midlands

Your weather forecast: Rain later before wind picks up

BBC Weather

Rain will move in for a time later, with strong winds picking up on Saturday.

Birmingham
BBC Weather Watchers / Sutton Walker

There's a yellow warning for wind for the whole of the West Midlands from midnight on Saturday until midnight on Sunday.

You can find a detailed weather forecast for your area on the BBC Weather site.

Storm Ciara: Amended timetable in place for rail passengers

Rail passengers are being warned to expect travel disruption with Storm Ciara expected to bring high winds across the West Midlands.

Trampoline on the railway line
Network Rail

An amended timetable has been put in place in anticipation of speed restrictions, said Network Rail.

While the strongest winds are expected on Sunday, disruption could follow into Monday morning, it warned.

Lineside neighbours are also asked to help keep the railway free of any unexpected debris by tying down or clearing away garden furniture and trampolines, it added.

Decision to end police alliance criticised by inspector

A report, published today by Her Majesty’s Inspectorate of Constabulary, has criticised the decision to end the alliance between the West Mercia and Warwickshire forces.

They're still in the process of agreeing a separation, after West Mercia Police complained in October 2018 that the arrangement was unfair and one-sided.

Police car
BBC

In this report, Wendy Williams, Her Majesty’s Inspector of Constabulary, said West Mercia's "decision to terminate the alliance does not appear to have been based on a well-evidenced business case, nor were the public or partners consulted beforehand".

She also said: "There is no certainty as to how it will provide these services in the future, and the costs and benefits of terminating the alliance are not yet fully known."

The split was due to take place last year, but Home Secretary Priti Patel ordered an extension until April, after the two sides couldn't agree the terms.

Video: Your 50-second weather forecast

Alex Hamilton

BBC Weather

It will be a cloudy day with some sunny spells and highs of 9C (48F).

Latest weather for the West Midlands