PEOPLE living near the river Wye in Hereford are facing an anxious day with no accurate predicted peak or time from the Environment Agency.

With Environment Agency staff on strike, a former boss for Herefordshire and Worcestershire say the sloppy approach could cost lives.

While a flood warning has been issued for the river Wye from Hay-on-Wye to Hereford, and flood warnings for the remainder of the Wye in Herefordshire, this has been automated.


Former Environment Agency area manager Dave Throup said: "Omission is clearly causing a lot of stress as well as endangering property and potentially lives."

He added: "While it’s possible industrial action may reduce the level of service, to remove it completely across the whole of England appears reckless.

The agency has the information people need. It must work out a way of making it available."

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Greyfriars ward councillor Diana Toynbee, who represents Greyfriars Avenue which has flooded several times in recent years, says all river levels are rising very fast.

The Wye in Hereford at Old Bridge is currently 4.19 metres (as of 11am), but still rising.

She said the riverside street is the focus for action, and the Environment Agency will be there to offer support to locals and flood warden Colin Taylor.


Coun Toynbee said the predicted peak at Old Wye bridge should 5.1 metres. This, she said "should mean properties are not affected."

She added: "But more rain is forecast, so we can’t relax yet. Forecasting is difficult, and we rely on the Environment Agency’s modelling work - every extra inch of water makes a difference if your home is at risk.

"People have expressed concerns to me around EA flooding pages online, and updates not being frequent enough."

Coun Kevin Tillett for Hinton and Hunderton said the river Wye is continuing to rise in Hereford.

It is currently 4.2m at Old Bridge and he said the best estimate is a peak later today or early tomorrow at about five metres.

There is no accurate prediction due to strike action at the Environment Agency.

Riverside paths in Hereford are now starting to flood and will remain flooded all day.