IT was one of the most frightening nights for more than a decade for people living in low lying parts of Ludlow but unlike in 2007 the town escaped without serious damage.

River levels were the highest they have been in the town since 2007 when a house was so badly damaged that it had to be demolished and the Burway Bridge was washed away as well as a gas main ruptured.

After a very wet week the situation on the rivers reached a climax overnight on Saturday.

Residents living close to the river could only look on helplessly as the level of the River Teme kept rising.

It was a result of water that had fallen over many days in the upper Severn catchment along with local heavy rainfall.

Fortunately, the rain eased before stopping and as the sun came up on Sunday morning the river level was slowly dropping.

However, many hours later the Environment Agency still had its second highest level of warning out and people were asked to avoid roads and footpaths near to the rivers and streams.

Land including sports fields were turned into an inland lake.

It was a shock reminder of what happened in the summer of 2007.

But Andy Boddington, Shropshire councillor for Ludlow North, says that the town is much better prepared than it was then.

However, he warns that with the climate changing there is no room for complacency.

“The weekend saw some of the highest flood levels since 2007 in the Ludlow area,” he said.

“But we were much better prepared than 2007. The loss of the Burway Bridge during that flood meant that a higher capacity bridge could be constructed in its place.

“A lot of smaller works have also improved the flow of water through Ludlow. Upstream, there are several ‘Slow the Flow’ projects to reduce the rate at which water enters the rivers.

“The Environment Agency and Met Office have also got better at forecasting and keeping everyone informed. The risk of flooding on Saturday and Sunday was predicted from Thursday.

“We still have a lot of work to do. We must halt building in the floodplain. We must plant more trees to soak up water and slow its flow.

“As the climate changes, the weather is getting more unpredictable. We can never rest on our laurels.”

On June 25, 2007 flooding of the Corve swept away the 1931 Burway road bridge carrying off parts of Coronation Avenue, as well as a nearby house.

A gas main was also ruptured when the bridge collapsed into the swollen waters.

Weeks later on July 20 there was a second flood, this time primarily of the Teme.

Both events caused severe flooding in Ludlow, both at Lower Corve Street and along Temeside.

Fields and properties on Linney were also affected, floodwater reaching the roadway at one point.