Floods in the West Midlands
Severe weather is causing problems across the West Midlands and the UK. Find out what's happening here and keep listening to Heart for the latest travel information and advice.
After the wettest June on record - the Environment agency is now warning us of the highest risk of flooding so-far.
Two bands of torrential rain moved in across the UK, including the West Midlands on Friday 6th July and throughout the weekend, while more than 80 flood alerts were issued.
Flooding hit parts of the West Midlands following downpours in the region on Thursday 28th of June
A man in his 60s died after being swept away by floodwater near Ludlow, Shropshire, West Mercia Police said.
Meanwhile, the A38 Aston Expressway in Birmingham was closed in both directions at Lancaster Circus because the drainage systems were overwhelmed by rainfall.
West Midlands fire service were called to nearly 300 flooding incidents in an hour and a half during the morning. They included major flooding at New Cross Hospital in Wolverhampton and the rescue of two elderly women trapped in car.
The Environment agency is warning people not to go out or drive in flooded areas as they could be dangerous.
Road safety charity the IAM is offering motorists advice on driving in heavy rain, following the Met Office issuing amber warnings of torrential rain over the coming days.
IAM chief examiner Peter Rodger said: "A suddenly very wet road surface increases the chances of slipping when braking or steering, which is a problem not just for motorists, but cyclists and motorcyclists too.
“When driving in wet conditions remember that stopping distances will increase, and visibility will be reduced. Drop your speed and give yourself more time to slow down.”
In cases of severe flooding, you should reconsider making the journey at all. If it is unavoidable, and you have to drive through deep water, the IAM recommends drivers take the following precautions:
- Drive on the highest section of the road and don't set off if a vehicle is approaching you
- Leave time and space to avoid swamping other cars and pedestrians
- Drive slowly and keep going once you have started – make sure you have a clear run. In a manual car, keep the revs high by "slipping the clutch" (which means the clutch is not fully engaged) all the time you are in the water
- If you can’t see where you are going to come out of the water, such as when approaching flooding on a bend, think twice about starting to drive into it
- In deep water never take your foot off the accelerator, as this could allow water to travel up the exhaust pipe
- Once you're out of the water, dry the brakes before you need them. The best way is to lightly apply the brake as you drive along for a few seconds, after checking nothing is following you too closely.
To help drivers stay safe and enjoy their driving this summer, the IAM has a new website, drivingadvice.org.uk, with traffic updates, weather forecasts, and driving tips, including: driving abroad, cycling, coping with Olympic congestion, and loading the car for a long journey.