THE new year got off to a wet and windy start as wild weather battered the Vale.

But, despite rising river levels and road closures, the area only faced minor disruption.

Home and business owners across the district narrowly avoided being flooded as river levels peaked below the levels seen this time last year.

In Bidford the water “just stayed out of the houses”, according to the parish council chairman. Coun Bill Fleming said: “It’s all been on the Honeybourne Road side of the river. We haven’t been badly affected in the village, it has just stayed out of the houses.”

Weir Meadow Holiday and Touring Park, which sits on the bank of the River Avon in Evesham, also avoided any flood damage.

Two people had to be rescued after a car got stuck in flood water in Mill Lane, Wyre Piddle, at 12.49pm on Monday.

As the Journal went to press yesterday, the Jubilee Bridge in Fladbury and Eckington Bridge remained closed, while some flood alerts are still in place for Bow Brook and Piddle Brook and some low-lying areas near Bidford.

One man who keeps a close eye on river levels is Ronald Briggs, chairman of the Waterside Flood Defence Trust, in Evesham.

He said: “The river got up to about three meters above normal height, which just put it into the road. Before it got to that point we put the barriers up. One big concern if it had blocked the road would’ have been the traffic. It would have been a real problem with the bridge being closed.“ Over the coming days weather forecasters are predicting less rain. Ian Michaelwaite, from Pershore-based Netweather said a cold snap next week may see the beginning of real winter weather.

“We still have a little bit of patchy rain through Thursday.

Friday morning we could see a frost forming so there will be a risk of skidding or slipping. There’s a chance of light showers on Saturday morning but skies should clear and we could see some sunshine for possibly the first time in 2014.

“The rain returns next week but towards Wednesday and Thursday there are signs of a cold snap. This could change but it’s a sign that autumn will finally end.”