Why did the floods happen?
In 2007 England and Wales experienced the wettest May to July on record leaving the ground in the River Avon catchment mostly saturated. 20 July saw a deluge of heavy and persistent rain over central and southern England. In July we recorded 193mm of rain at the Chipping Campden gauge near Evesham which is almost three and a half times the long term average for the area.
As a result of this heavy rain on 20 July, river levels were some of the highest ever recorded. The River Avon in Evesham reached a record peak of 5.52m at 14:45 on 21 July, almost 300mm higher than the peak reached during the April 1998 floods (5.23m), and is approximately five metres above normal summer river levels.
As the water rose to these extraordinary levels, the river banks and drains were overwhelmed, causing water to spread into the floodplain and flood homes and businesses.
What did we do during the floods?
Throughout the floods we used a number of different ways to warn people of the risk of flooding from rivers. We use a combination of these methods depending on the information and systems that are available in that area. Examples of these are:
- Regular updates via the media on TV, radio and the internet.
- Floodline - information was available 24 hours a day, 7 days by calling 0845 988 1188.
- Live warnings in force were detailed on our website.
- Floodline Warnings Direct - sent warnings 24 hours a day by telephone, text message, email, fax or pager. Register by calling 0845 988 1188.
What did we do to forecast where flooding would happen?
We use the latest technology to monitor rainfall, river levels and sea conditions 24 hours a day. We can provide local area forecasts on the chance of flooding and how severe it is likely to be. We use this information to know when to issue flood warnings.
How did we warn the public?
We warned communities of River Avon flooding by issuing the following flood watches and warnings through our free flood warning service Floodline Warnings Direct.
- a flood watch for the River Avon in Worcestershire at 12:24 on 20 July;
- at 15:13 and 18:17on 20 July a flood warning for the River Avon from Evesham to upstream of Tewkesbury;
- a severe flood warning for the area at 19:13 on 20 July.
What impact did the floods have?
How many properties were flooded?
Approximately 330 properties were flooded in and around Evesham by both river and surface water. This included properties along Port Street, Waterside, Fairfield Road and surrounding areas, and properties in Hampton.
How did our flood defences perform during the floods?
We have no raised defences at Evesham.
How did the floods impact on our infrastructure?
The heavy rain on 20 July caused extensive flooding over the Avon catchment. In many places, including Evesham, river levels were the highest ever recorded. Water overtopped river banks and private defences, including those on Waterside, resulting in severe property flooding and traffic disruption. This affected hundreds of people throughout the area, including approximately 20 children who became trapped at their school and guests and staff who were confined to the upper floors of the Northwick Hotel on Waterside in Evesham.
What did we communicate during and after the floods?
Staff were out and about talking to people who were affected by the flooding, giving them advice about how to deal with the floods. We took part in many media interviews to warn people about what was happening.
Since the flooding ended we have held a flood surgery in Evesham on 22 August to gather information and provide advice and assistance to the public. We listened to people’s concerns and answered many questions.
What are we doing in the future?
We welcome any feedback on the information you have seen, or on the event itself. If you would like to do this, please complete a feedback form.