TENBURY has been devastated by flooding that included tragedy as a women was washed into the roaring river Teme only for the body of the 55-year-old from Birmingham to be found on Tuesday afternoon.

People were left stranded in their homes and had to be rescued by the emergency services.

Car were left marooned in the street and an emergency command and reception centre was set up at Tenbury High School that proved a lifeline for many people.

There is not a business in the centre of the town that has not been affected by a flood that turned Teme Street into a river.

It is estimated that 70 businesses were affected and 40 homes affected by flooding leaving people to count the cost.

A special reception centre was opened at Tenbury High School to give some respite to people who have seem their lives wrecked by the flood water – in some cases for the second time in 13 years.

For some people it was even worse that in 2007 when the town’s public conveniences were washed away.

Now will begin the recriminations as people look for answers as to why nothing has been done in the 13 years since the last major flood.

Eric Hudson, Mayor of Tenbury, has demanded that the Government treat what has happened as a national emergency and ensures that the money is found to fund a proper fund defence scheme.

No one in Tenbury can say that they had not been warned.

Successive town mayors have cautioned that it was a case of when and not if the town would be hit.

There were narrow escapes at the end 2019 and some relief when Storm Ciara passed without incident.

But a week later and Storm Dennis dashed any thoughts that the town was going to have a narrow escape.

It was early on Saturday afternoon that the Environment Agency and emergency services convened a meeting at which councilors were briefed that the prospects were bad.

“We were told to expect something worse than in 2007,” said Tony Penn, who represents Tenbury on Malvern Hills District Council.

Homes and businesses considered to be at risk were all contacted and the process began of putting up flood defence gates.

Heavy rainfall on Saturday night and in the early hours of Sunday morning turned the town into an island with streets looking like Venice.

Cars that had to be abandoned made the situation even worse for emergency services.

The flood defence gates in front of shops and businesses proved to be useless as they were overwhelmed.

Early on Sunday morning a boat was used to rescue two elderly people stranded in the town centre.

The boat was used throughout the day whilst people who were able made their way to safety through water that was knee deep.

Roads in the surrounding area became impassible and a couple who live in the town and had to get to work at the Rose and Crown in Burford had to travel via Leysters and then Ludlow and Clee Hill in order to make the journey.

Mr Penn said that the rainfall had been such that the common at St Michael’s was flooded.

“I have not seen that since we have been here and we came in 1964,” he said.

Harriett Baldwin, MP for West Worcestershire, whose constituency includes Tenbury, praised the work of the emergency services and pledged to press for funding for a flood defence scheme.

The Environment Agency’s emergency response team in Tewksbury led the efforts to monitor and warn people about serious flooding. Worcestershire County Council’s highways team was also in action for the second consecutive weekend clearing teams and providing emergency support.

“I was briefed by the Environment Secretary overnight on Saturday as a range of measures were put in place to help homes and businesses affected by the flooding,” said Mrs Baldwin.

“I want to thank everyone who is involved in the emergency response this weekend. I took the time to thank the Highways team in person on Friday, and praised their good work in the House of Commons last week.

“I also took the opportunity to raise my continued concerns about the need for permanent flood defences in Tenbury and asked the Department for the Environment to look at allocating some of the £4billion pledged to new flood schemes to be spent in Worcestershire.

“My thoughts are with all those who have been affected by the latest flood and I will be working with Malvern Hills District Council to ensure that they are well supported to get back on their feet as quickly as possible.”

After the 2007 flood, the Environment Agency said that the estimated £5 million cost of a flood defence scheme for Tenbury could not be justified.