AddThis SmartLayers

Reporters wade into work to bring readers the News

Water lapping at the front of the Worcester News office brought contingency plans into operation as staff waded into work to get the paper out.

Twenty-seven hours of rain before the weekend resulted in much of the county becoming submerged.

Staff whose homes were thought to be at risk were sent home, while others worked beyond the call of duty, wading in through waist-deep water to get to the office.

Many copies of the newspaper published since Friday will not get to towns and villages because of the disaster, and a Friday night print of the paper at Oxford – in case the Worcester press succumbed – meant delays on delivery as traffic problems dealt a further blow.

Editor Kevin Ward said: “We were aware by mid-afternoon that Worcestershire as a whole was going to be hit by a severe flood situation.

“On Friday we ripped apart Saturday’s planned paper when we were also aware that as we are near the river in Worcester, we could have potential problems at our site.

“Anyone who lived in the area that had flood problems left the office as quickly as they could and we put Saturday’s edition together with a skeleton staff with six pages of flood coverage in Saturday’s paper.”

Water approaching the office doors meant contingency plans for Monday’s paper were considered but when it was agreed the river was past its peak, the News was printed locally, as normal, with the usual 18,500 copies.

Kevin said: “We got papers out on both days. The staff were magnificent, many having to walk into work through fairly deep flood waters, although many more could not get in.”

The paper expects to function on emergency cover for the next few days.

Many readers are relying on the website for the very latest information, and in the past 48 hours, there have been far more updates than at any point since it was launched, including stories, pictures and traffic information.

Do you have a story about the regional press?
Ring 0116 227 3122/3121, or e-mail:
[email protected]