THERE was shock and disbelief in Ludlow.

It is believed that as many as 20 houses were flooded with many others having a narrow escape with water 20 lapping at the doors and back gates of many other properties.

This is the worst flood since July 2007.

Then water reached a height of 5.22m on the Teme.

On Sunday afternoon the river seems to have peaked at 5.20m.

“But no one threatened with river water pouring into their home cares about whether this is a record flood or not,” said Andy Boddington, the Shropshire Councillor for the area.

“There was just nothing that we could do to help people.

“It did not seem that there were any sandbags and I had heard that Shropshire Council had run out.”

A reception centre was set up at Ludlow Methodist Church for people affected by the flooding.

But this was a flood that should never have happened and people were taken by complete surprise.

In 2007 a house was and a bridge were demolished along with a gas main.

But that resulted in a new bridge being built that could cope with a greater river flow.

Work has also been undertaken to clear debris and trees from the river.

A pressure group, was set up to demand more action.

In the autumn of 2019 there had been two flood events that raised alarm but the town got away without any damage to properties.

Then came storm Ciara where there was another escape.

But Storm Dennis proved to be just too much and despite the ‘improvements’ that had been made the town was badly hit.

“There are lessons to learn from this,” Mr Boddington added.

“Shropshire Council’s emergency number was not available until 9am. Ludlow Town Council doesn’t seem to have an effective emergency plan or number in place.

“Today, the problem is water. Far too much of it. Tomorrow, it could be COVID-19 or any other emergency. We need to take emergencies seriously and plan for the unknown.

“In meanwhile, we must help those suffering from Storm Dennis. I know that many people in Ludlow are already doing this.”

Tim Gill, Mayor of Ludlow has said that the flooding has raised issues that the town needs to consider.

It also raised awareness of the potential impact of any development in the future close to rivers and streams.

Options for a flood defence scheme for the low lying parts of Ludlow could include providing upstream storage area on farm land and possible dredging to increase the capacity of the river.

It is thought unlikely that the cost benefit would fit within the current spending rules as applied by the Environment Agency.

The issue of cost benefit count little for people who had sewage forced back through toilets and homes covered in sludge and dirty water.

Within a few hours most of the water was gone but the misery will go on much longer.

It includes a 101-year-old woman, Kathleen Powell, who lives in Temeside returning to the misery of a home ruined by flood water.