Hereford locals tell of ‘crazy’ floods after Storm Dennis

Hereford and surrounding villages have been inundated by "devastating" floods, with locals saying they have never seen anything like it.

Churches and leisure centres have opened their doors to take in evacuated residents as a severe flood warning remains in place for the River Wye, which was expected to reach a high water mark of nearly 20ft (6m) on Monday morning.

In one area, roads were reported to have been submerged in 6ft (1.8m) of floodwater, local resident Laura Yarwood said.

Locals in Hereford said they had never seen such flooding in the area (Greg Smith/PA)
Locals in Hereford said they had never seen such flooding in the area (Greg Smith/PA)

The 32-year-old nursery owner evacuated her home in nearby Bodenham on Saturday in the face of flood warnings, and said the village has since been "completely cut off".

"I think most of the villages in Hereford have been cut off and I think there've been quite a few evacuations. It's just crazy," she told the PA news agency.

"It's the worst anyone in Hereford has ever seen it to be, and the fact that communities are being evacuated, that's unheard of."

Ms Yarwood closed her nursery in Thorn Business Park on Monday morning, after water began to affect the entrance to the industrial estate.

Aerial pictures showed extensive flooding around the park, the railway line and nearby homes.

Greg Smith, who took the drone images, said: "I've never seen anything like this."

Church Open the vicar of St Martin's Church, Ross Road. has been in touch they're opening the church for anyone who needs refreshments for people affected by the flooding

— HerefordshireCouncil (@HfdsCouncil) February 17, 2020

Ms Yarwood praised the community effort in reaction to the floods.

"There's lots of groups that are pulling together, churches are opening to provide hot drinks and things, the leisure centres are taking the evacuated people in. It's shown that the community is really together but it has been, I think, devastating for a lot of people."

Herefordshire Council on Monday morning warned people not to take risks just because the rain had eased off.

The council tweeted: "While the rain may have eased, our rivers are still rising.

"There is significant & widespread river flooding & deep surface water flooding. Please do not put yourself at risk – avoid any unnecessary travel, do not enter floodwater."