A scheme to stop flooding in a Worcestershire town where hundreds of residents had to be evacuated during storms six years ago has been completed.
The Environment Agency said it had completed Bewdley's Severnside South flood risk management scheme on time and on budget.
The 630 metres of demountable defences, along with 200 metres of brick-faced flood walls, now protect 174 properties on the west bank of the River Severn, at a total cost of more than £11 million.
In November 2000, Bewdley suffered serious flooding, with 140 properties affected.
The town, along with Shrewsbury, is the first to use demountable flood barriers in the UK. They are put up only when there is a danger of flooding and taken down as soon as the danger has passed.
The agency said permanent flood walls and banks would have spoiled the quayside in the Georgian town. Plans for the project were put forward after the floods of autumn 2000 and a £4 million working flood defence along Severnside North was put in place in two years.
This defence was tested in a real flood in February 2004.
A month later, the agency started to build the larger Severnside South section. Construction was finished in time for it to be tested when river levels rose in November.
Project manager Roger Prestwood said: "Bewdley has always flooded, but the town suffered especially badly in autumn 2000.
"We were determined to do something about it and everyone made a special effort to get this flood defence finished as quickly as possible.
"We hope the people of Bewdley will now be able to enjoy the river without fear, knowing that they are well protected."