RESIDENTS have been advised by Worcestershire Country Council to keep a check on weather updates following warnings from the Met Office for heavy rain this weekend.

Strong winds and rain are forecast due to the ex-tropical storm Bertha heading over the Atlantic from the Caribbean.

The council will have extra officers on standby to deal with any possible problems and will continue to work closely with agencies to keep informed of any updates.

Additional gangs, plant and equipment, including gulley emptiers, will be available to help minimise any possible disruption across the county.

With strong winds forecast, tree contractors are also on standby ready to clear any trees that may fall across the highway.

Drivers are again being advised to take care on the roads if there is heavy rain and surface water accumulates.

County councillor John Smith, cabinet member for highways, said: “We have made arrangements to deal with any problems that might arise and people should keep up to date with weather reports so they can take any appropriate action to ensure their safety over the weekend.”

Severn Trent Water has also issued a warning on the strong possibility of flash flooding.

James Jesic, waste water manager for the company, said: “We’re aware that bad weather is coming and we’re working hard to get ready for it.

“We’ve already got plenty of staff on the phones in our call centre and lots of teams available out and about across the region to deal with flooding and any other issues the bad weather may bring.

“We’re also out and about keeping an eye on those areas with a high risk of flooding.

“Unfortunately, in stormy weather, the drains and sewers often have significantly more water flowing through them.

“When we get a lot of rain in one go, it has a hard time sinking into the ground; so it just runs off the surface and goes directly into drains and sewers.”

The company has also offered advice for customers who experience flooding.

Mr Jesic said: “If you have flooding at your home, check to see if it’s just rainwater or if it’s sewage that has come from an overflowing sewer, possibly through a manhole cover in your garden or outside your property.

“If it’s just rainwater, the flooding should subside when it stops raining, although it can take up to four hours for water to drain away, so be patient.

“Where sewage is escaping this is obviously a priority for us, so please call us on 0800 783 4444 and we’ll get a team out to help as quickly as possible.”