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a blog by Chris Barrow

M5 and floods

Ignoring the sound advice of Alun Rees to stay at his place – I valiantly struggled down the A1, M1, M42, M6 and on to the M5 – just in time to get caught between the two burst rivers.

Left Bawtry in Yorkshire at 4.00pm, arrived at Strensham Services about 10.30pm, to find that all exits were flooded – no way out – along with thousands of others, mainly holiday-makers on the first evening of the summer vacation.

After queuing for food I slept in my car until 12.30am – waking to find even more chaos around me.

I drove out of the maintenance exit from the service station and, after 3 failed attempts to escape which left me stranded on flooded roads – I eventually took a chance and drove through the fourth flood and on in to Herefordshire, then Tewksbury, where the river had burst it’s banks into the town and RAF Sea-King helicopters were rescuing campers from their vehicle rooftops in the field around us.

More orienteering on my part brought me cross-country to Gloucester at about 1.45am and back on to a deserted M5 southbound.

I arrived in Falmouth at 4.30am, 12-1/2 hours after I started my journey.

I noticed on the TV news this morning that those who stayed in the service station were still there until mid-morning.

The pleasures of business travel.

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