THE clean-up operation is now well under way in Droitwich Spa after huge storms hit the town.
Heavy rainfall on Thursday (June 28) caused homes and businesses to suffer flood damage.
It is believed that almost half of June’s annual rain fell in just an hour.
Worcestershire County Council’s highways teams received nearly 350 calls, with about 60 homes countywide getting flooded.
The flooding exposed a growing problem, said county flood response highways manager Jon Fraser, of too much rainwater ending up in the sewage system – which then bursts under the stress, ejecting foul water into the water already flooding people’s homes and businesses.
In Droitwich, much of the problems were seen in Tagwell Road and Queen Street, where shops were badly hit.
At the Secret Garden florists, on the Queen Street crossroads, staff had just a few minutes to shift all the stock upstairs before the water rolled in.
Florist Emma Everton said: “We were stood watching the front door and suddenly it was in the shop, it just seemed to come out of the ground. Then the cars were driving past and sending out waves, and that wasn’t helping.
“We only lost some of the plants we had outside. We watched a few plants float off down the road, but the council brought them back for us.”
Drivers and motorcyclists in Tagwell Road and Queen Street also had to deal with a spate of blown manhole covers, causing several flat tyres, after water overwhelmed the drains.
Councillor Glenise Noyes, who represents the area, said the street had flooded three times in 10 years, including the June and July storms of 2007.
She queried whether the row of shop’s drains, maintained by water firm Severn Trent Water, could be improved.
Jon Fraser, a county council highways manager, said Queen Street’s problems were “complex” and any mitigation would need input from the county council, Severn Trent and shopkeepers.
In out-lying areas, localised flash-flooding hit places such as the Fir Tree pub at Dunhampstead, near Droitwich.
“We are surrounded by water,” said landlord Martyn Perrins. It just started pouring through the front door.
“There’s nothing you can do really but wait for it to go back down.”
Stretches of the A38 between Wychbold, near Droitwich, and Bromsgrove were badly affected, as were parts of the A449 and the A4133 at Ombersley.