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21st Jun, 2021

Flood clean-up underway as Rugby river levels, rail services return to normal

Rugby Editorial 10th Mar, 2016 Updated: 27th Oct, 2016

THE CLEAN-up is underway after record floods in Rugby yesterday (Wednesday March 9).

Rugby Borough Council is asking residents to report any debris and other damage caused by the floods, while Network Rail says the West Coast main line has returned to normal service.

Rainfall overnight on Tuesday (8 March) led to record-breaking river levels in Rugby and Newbold, where the Avon peaked at 3.648m – the highest level recorded since monitoring equipment was installed in 1973, beating the previous high of 3.5m in April 1998.

Localised flooding occurs if the river hits just 1.08m.

The river over topped its banks shortly after 5pm on Wednesday (9 March), flooding the Mill Road area and the car parks at Elliott’s Field and Tesco, and park land in Newbold. The flood waters had receded by the morning rush hour.

The rivers Avon and Leam also over topped their banks at Little Lawford, Newnham Paddox, Bretford, Wolston, Kites Hardwick and Marton, causing road closures.

Cllr Michael Stokes, Leader of Rugby Borough Council, said: “Rugby Borough Council has been working with partners to help make sure that residents and businesses were aware of the rising flood water and had time to prepare.

“I’d like to thank council officers and the emergency services for their great communication, and for the help that they gave. Our messages and updates reached more than 30,000 people, and I know that they were appreciated.

“In the end, despite the Avon reaching a record high in Rugby, damage was limited and it was pleasing to see the flood alleviation works at Elliott’s Field, for example, working as designed. While the flooded car park was an impressive sight, this controlled flooding prevented damage to the shops and to neighbouring roads and properties.

“With the flood water now receding we are concentrating on cleaning up debris and other damage. Residents can help us by reporting any problems through our website at”

Residents and businesses can sign up to receive flood alerts by following the link at

At midnight on Wednesday morning the River Avon had been within its normal range at just 0.6m.

* The West Coast main line is returning to normal today (Thursday) after floods caused severe delays yesterday.

Several sections of railway flooded, including two tunnels south of Rugby, which were pumped out by Network Rail staff for several hours.

The flooded railway tunnel at Crick on the West Coast main line.

Temporary speed restrictions were put in place to keep trains running safely.

Martin Frobisher, route managing director for Network Rail, said: “The heavy rain overnight and throughout the early hours caused levels of the River Avon to rise to record levels and several sections of the railway were flooded.

Flooding on the railway near Crick.

“Our engineers were out in force with equipment to pump water away from the tracks and keep trains moving as best as possible.”

Passengers can check the latest travel information at

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