Environment Agency warns to save water as Rugby is still in drought despite excessive rain

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RIVER banks have burst, trees have fallen down and it’s been the wettest April on record - but the drought remains.

A weekend of chaotic weather in Rugby has left the town battered and bruised.

It started with a tornado and continued with heavy rain and wind throughout the week.

On Sunday a huge tree fell down in Corporation Street, narrowly missing drivers.

Instead of the traditional 999 call, members of the public simply knocked on the door of Rugby Fire Station - just yards from the stricken tree.

Police shut the road while firefighters removed the tree.

Rugby firefighter Sean Bostrom said: “We were training in the station and we had a knock on the door. We thought ‘we had better deal with this’. We had to ring control to get the ‘OK’ before we went out.

“We put some very strong looped ropes onto the tree and tied them to the back of the fire engine.

“No one was hurt so it was a happy ending.”

On Monday parts of the River Avon and River Swift had burst its banks, causing flooding to nearby fields.

The Environment Agency put the rivers on flood alert - meaning that flooding is possible.

However, Rugby is still officially in environmental drought.

Trevor Bishop, head of water resources at the Environment Agency, said: “A longer term drought, lasting until Christmas and perhaps beyond, now looks more likely. We are working with businesses, farmers and water companies to plan ahead to meet the challenges of a continued drought. While we’ve had some welcome rain, the problem has not gone away, and we would urge everyone to use water wisely now, which will help to prevent more serious impacts next year.”