Riverside towns across the West Midlands are at risk of dying out if flood waters are not controlled, a Worcestershire flood victim has claimed.

As parts of the region braced themselves for another night on flood alert Sheila Start, landlady of the Northfield Hotel in Evesham, warned businesses would desert flood-ridden areas unless defences were improved.

Last night the Environment Agency still had three flood warnings in place for the River Avon between Stanford and Rugby and two on the River Severn between Worcester and Gloucester.

The alerts come after more than a month's rainfall drenched parts of the country in the space of 24 hours over the weekend, with some sporting fixtures having to be called off.

But some made the most of the weather, which saw members of the Worcester canoe club negotiate the finishing straight of a flooded Worcester racecourse.

Huge downpours hit the region on Friday night and Saturday morning with cars left under water in Kings Norton.

Ms Start said the floods threatened the economic lifeblood of Worcestershire, adding she was frustrated that not enough had been done to help protect her business since it was badly damaged by the July floods.

She said: "Nothing has changed. On Saturday the water was just a few yards away from the hotel. All the drains are filled up with silt and, when I phoned the council, they sent down just one man with a rod, which was no help at all."

Ms Start said she had asked with the council to clean the drains and dredge the Avon near to her, but nothing had been done.

She said: "I've been told that the Environment Agency won't dredge the Avon any more because it will make it run too fast.

"Yet Evesham and other towns like it are dying because of this. If Evesham keeps flooding after just one day of rain, businesses will move out and it will be a dead town.

"We pay all this money to the council, yet it can't seem do anything about it."

A spokesman from Worcestershire County Council said he sympathised with Mrs Start, but added that the council was already swamped trying to repair the damage wreaked by the July floods. He said: "Since July the council has spent over £9 million reconstructing bridges and roads, unblocking drains and repairing flood damage.

"We are working as hard as we can, but there are only so many people and so much time. While elsewhere people may have forgotten the devastating impact of the July floods, Worcestershire is still living with the consequences."

A spokesman for the Environment Agency said it use to dredge the River Avon for navigational purposes, but the decline in barges had meant this practice had now ended. Dredging was extremely expensive and did little to prevent flooding, he added.