Early action by the Environment Agency protected more than 4,000 homes and businesses in the West Midlands from the devastation of flooding this January.

Environment Agency officers worked around the clock to deploy demountable barriers along the River Severn and River Wye, protecting communities after many persistent bands of rain earlier in the month resulted in elevated river levels.

Barriers were used to hold back floodwater across the region, including Shrewsbury, Ironbridge, Bewdley and Hereford, whilst a large flood pumping station operated continuously for two weeks in Kempsey, as well as flood gates being closed at Upton-upon-Severn. Other flood risk assets operated in Cheltenham, Worcester and Gloucester to prevent flooding.

Thousands of West Midlands homes and businesses, including many in Hereford were protected from flooding earlier this month thanks to the Environment Agency

The Environment Agency also issued a total of 39 flood alerts and 61 flood warnings from the beginning of the year.

While some properties sadly did flood, many more were protected thanks to the measures taken. Being flooded is devastating, and the Environment Agency will work with partners over the coming weeks to support the recovery of those communities affected over recent weeks.

Environment Agency operations manager Anthony Perry said:

“We saw a lot of heavy rainfall at the beginning of the year that meant the Severn and Wye catchments became very saturated, and river levels rose quickly.

“We operated our flood defences, which stood up to the challenge, and provided valuable protection to more than 4,000 homes and businesses in the area.

“Without the public investment of these defences, many communities could have been flooded and faced weeks before being able to return to their homes. Instead, residents faced minimal disruption, and businesses were able to carry on their operations.”

More than 100 Environment Agency staff put up barriers, ensuring watercourses were clear of debris, and operated pumps to remove surface water.

You can check your flood-risk, sign up for free flood warnings, and keep up-to-date with the latest situation at¬†https://www.gov.uk/check-flood-risk, call‚ÄĮFloodline‚ÄĮon 0345 988 1188 or follow @EnvAgency on Twitter for the latest flood updates.