FIREFIGHTERS endured their busiest period since 2000 as torrential rain battered Wyre Forest.

Residents were left counting the cost of the devastating floods following Friday's bad weather.

Alec Mackie, Hereford and Worcester Fire and Rescue Service spokesman, said the district had been less badly affected than other locations in South Worcestershire and Herefordshire.

He compared the fallout from the storm to the winter flooding of the River Severn in 2000.

Kidderminster Fire Station's Blue Watch responded to reports of rapidly rising water at homes located along the course of Dick Brook, near Dunley, at 3pm on Friday.

The floodwaters rose so quickly two members of the fire crew were cut off on Netherton Lane and had to be rescued by a member of the public in a 4x4 vehicle Mel Turbutt, watch manager, said: "After that call-out we spent the rest of the day trying to get back to Kidderminster. In 29 years service I've never known a period of time when we've been that busy.

"We actually only had one or two calls we were sent to deal with. The rest of the time we were making it up as we went along."

Wolverley was hit hard by the storms as both the River Stour and the nearby Mill Race Brook burst their banks, cutting much of the village off until Sunday.

In Bewdley the Environment Agency's decision to put up the flood barriers did not prevent the Kidz First Garden Centre, on Long Bank, being hit. The site's official opening is still set to go ahead, this Saturday.

Stourport homes were also inundated, with Riverside Meadows swamped by water, forcing Wyre Forest District Council to postpone a planned official opening of its new skatepark.

The rising waters cut off many other rural and main roads, with traffic chaos on the A449, from 3pm on Friday.

In Stourport, Mill Road and the B4194 Switchback remained closed yesterday, and Hollow Lane, Shrawley, remained shut to traffic. Northwood Lane, Bewdley, is also still closed due to a landslip.

Members of the RNLI's rapid response unit were temporarily based at Kidderminster's Castle Road fire station.

The specialist team launched several rescue operations across Worcestershire after being deployed in inshore lifeboats, on Saturday.

Wyre Forest firefighters were sent to help pump water out of Droitwich High Street, on Saturday, and later in the village of Hampton Bishop, in Herefordshire.