Rain forecast over the next few days could see flood levels rise again in the towns dotted along the River Severn, forecasters have warned.
Demountable flood barriers were still up in Shrewsbury and Bewdley yesterday as water levels began to drop. Temporary barriers were also in place in Ironbridge and Worcester, and Environment Agency flood warnings were in place in all four locations.
Environment Agency flooding specialists were still keeping a close eye on gauges dotted along the River Severn in anticipation of more heavy rain.
In Shrewsbury the river level was last night measured at 2.78metres, having peaked at 10.45am on Saturday at 4.56metres. It burst its banks when it rose to three metres, flowing out over Frankwell car park. The average summer level is just 0.45metres.
Floodwater spilled out over Ironbridge's wharfage, where the village's cafes and shops are located, when the Severn rose to 5.3metres. It later peaked at 6.6metres and had last night dropped to 4.54metres. Temporary defences, which take four hours to mount and are brought in by lorry, were installed on December 7.
In Bewdley water levels peaked at 4.59metres yesterday afternoon, but the town's Severn-side north and Severn-side south defences were in place to protect homes and riverside pubs. The riverbanks in Bewdley start to flood at 3.8metres. The highest level ever recorded was 5.82metres in 1947.
Meanwhile in Worcester water levels were expected to peak at between 4.2 and 4.3metres. Temporary barriers were in place on the riverside Hilton Road.
Spells of heavy rain over the last two to three weeks have seen the ground saturated, with no place for excess water to run, except into rivers, said an Environment Agency spokeswoman.
"The weather forecast is for another band of rain today and Wednesday, and in fact right at the head of the Severn in Powys levels are still rising slightly," she added.
"It is difficult to know what the effect might be, because it depends how much rain we have and where it falls in the next 24 hours.
"We would advise people in at risk areas to keep monitoring rainfall on weather forecasts, and on the Environment Agency's Floodline service."
Floodline is on 0845 988 1188.