Residents living in Shrewsbury are battling the worst flooding in two decades after a staggering 400 TONNES of water a SECOND were sent surging towards the town.
Dozens of the traditional Tudor-style buildings in the medieval Shropshire town were flooded as water rose to the highest levels ever recorded.
A severe flood warning was issued for the River Severn - meaning there is a danger to life.
Hundreds of sandbags were placed outside shops and businesses after the Environment Agency warned the town would be hit by "deep fast flowing water." Dave Throup, of the Environment Agency, warned the latest persistent rainfall in the Welsh Hills could "be the straw that broke the camel's back".
Writing on Twitter, he said: "You've heard about the straw that broke the camel's back.
"This might be it!
"More heavy rain tomorrow morning on top of saturated ground and huge rivers." After inspecting the levels on the River Severn on Monday (24/2) morning, he added: "An incredible 400 tonnes of water a second are approaching Shrewsbury on the River Severn.
"We have one of the highest recordings at Montford." Mr Throup said "significant floods" would impact the town as well as weather ravaged Worcester over the next three days.
He added: "We will be deploying more flood defences in Shrewsbury soon.
"Flood warnings have been issued for the town and we now expect levels to exceed those seen last week.
These will be the highest seen in 20 years.
"Some property flooding and significant disruption is expected." West Mercia Police are also warning residents to avoid flood-hit areas and only make journeys which are essential.
A spokesperson said: "Late on Sunday afternoon the Environment Agency issued a Severe Flood Warning for Shrewsbury following heavy rain in the Welsh Hills and with more forecast.
"Although river levels are dropping in some areas, they are set to rise quickly at the top end of the River Severn in Shropshire.
"Flood barriers and schemes are in operation across Shrewsbury as well as other areas such as Bewdley in Worcestershire." Shropshire Council is in discussions with other bodies about plans to install a £40million flood defence scheme to protect the town in future.
Councillor Steve Davenport said: "We've been thinking about ways to hold back the River Severn for some time now but given what's happened recently, it needs to be brought forward.
"Early plans suggest that when the North West Relief Road is built, the river could be held back under the bridge that is going to be constructed by putting in flood attenuation panels that would slow down the flow of the water and stop it from rising so quickly.
"It's a very big scheme that could cost upwards of £40million but it will really benefit thousands and thousands of homes in these counties that have been devastated by the recent floods." Residents have described the floods as "biblical" as they desperately try and protect their homes and businesses.
Mum-of-two Hayley Lock, 40, said: "I live near the river and I'm really really scared.
I've never seen the river so high, it's biblical out there.
"Urgent money needs to be ploughed into all towns that are at risk from flooding.
Sod HS2, we need the cash to protect out towns now."