Wednesday, 30th July 2014

Bridgnorth floods terror

A terrified couple had an “extremely lucky” escape as the raging floodwaters swept their car away during a night of high drama near Bridgnorth. Shivering and soaked to the skin, they walked away from the Wootton ford at midnight on Friday to be met by the local policeman, who himself had been forced to abandon his vehicle because of the storm.

PC Matt Picken escorted the couple to the Quatt home of parish council chairman Isabel Faithful and her husband Bill, who were busy making final preparations for their daughter Melissa’s wedding to Great Wyrley detective David Franks a few hours later.

A wall of water had cascaded down the hill and flooded Brook Cottage next to the ford where occupants Laurie and Wendy Chitty saw it hit a record six-foot level on the marker.

PC Picken this week described the incident – in which the Kinver couple’s Peugeot was written off after being swept about 60 feet down the brook – as a “nightmare”.

“I had to abandon the police car in the floods at Quatt and continue by foot,” he said. “I met the couple walking the other way and they were drenched. I saw the light on in the Faithfuls’ house at about 1am and she took them in, which was very kind of her.

“It was a horrendous situation and the couple were very lucky,” added PC Picken, who said the couple had been to a wedding at the Mill Hotel, Alveley.

“They were absolutely soaked and frightened – they were in a real state,” said Mrs Faithful, who said the ford water level marker had been recently replaced. Other than have a bridge built over the ford I don’t know what can be done,” she added. “We have made representations to the landowers.”

Mr and Mrs Chitty, who have lived at the 400-year-old Brook Cottage for 30 years, were woken by the storm as water about a foot deep gushed into their home, ruining the carpets.

“A wall of water came down and it cut itself a new path,” said Mr Chitty, whose home was flooded for the first time last year.

He said that much of the water had been going into the brook from a pipe in a nearby field and a district council engineer had since visited this site to see what might be done about that.

James and Joanne Kendrick, who live nearby at Old Hall, Quatt, are also concerned about potential flooding and say the landowners are looking into the situation.