Storm Dennis causes 'one of the worst winters' in Gloucestershire village

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Rescue boat
Image caption,
Fire rescue crews set off to rescue stranded people on Wednesday

Residents have been holed up in flooded properties along the River Severn in what was described as one of the worst winters for 23 years.

Dozens of homes in Chaceley, Gloucestershire, have been cut off in the wake of Storm Dennis, with further heavy rainfall expected on Thursday.

The area was hit by flooding 1997 but resident Carole Thornton said this was the most flooding they had experienced.

The Environment Agency is pumping water out of the river.

Spokesman Mike Grimes said it was seeing the peak of the water running through the lower Severn on to Tewkesbury, then Gloucester, and then out to the estuary.

"We're monitoring the situation 24/7 looking at all our river levels," he said.

Image caption,
Carole Thornton says it has been the "most consistent amount of flooding that we've ever experienced"

Flooding of the village near Tewkesbury follows downpours brought by Storm Dennis which saw the rivers Wye and Severn reach their highest-ever levels.

Police advised people in properties at risk in Alney Island to evacuate and the fire service has launched a boat to rescue those stranded at Maisemore and Sandhurst.

Severn Area Rescue Association has been taking nurses to visit the vulnerable via boat.

Image source, Empics
Image caption,
Flood waters seen underneath Carole Thornton's window

The area flooded in 2007 when the Severn burst its banks during the wettest summer on record and there were serious periods of continuous flooding in 1997 and 2001.

Mrs Thornton said: "I think it's probably been one of the worst winters in 23 years and we've been flooded before.

"We've been flooded since the end of October with perhaps about two or three weeks between each flood so I think this is our fifth flood since then."

Corinna Pippard said: "It's scary. At the moment I've got three pumps going pretty much fulltime to keep the level more or less non-existent but it's coming through pretty fast."

"If the power goes off because the pumps go off and then you're just sunk within minutes, it doesn't take long," resident Bob Colbourne added.

The Yew Tree Inn shut nearly four weeks ago as floodwaters rose and the owners have been travelling to and from the pub by boat.

Image caption,
Corinna Pippard's horses are confined to a small patch of the flooded field

Jonathan Hodges, flood warden at Chaceley, said: "There is still some rising of water to come for us potentially.

"There are multiple properties with water in, people literally just sat up in their houses, and we just have to play the waiting game and just hope we come out the other side."

The Environment Agency is pumping water out of the River Severn as six severe flood warnings and more than 100 flood warnings remain in place.

Image caption,
A graveyard in Chaceley has been hit by flooding

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