FOR people who live, work and run businesses in Tenbury town centre, especially if they have done so since before 2007, the devastation of flooding is always in the back of their minds.

These are intelligent people and know the fact that the event of summer 2007 was designated a one in 100-year flood is a statistic and does not mean much - even less given the impact of climate change.

There have been near misses in the recent past and so when the news started to spread on the Friday that a flood was expected many will have hoped that the forecasters had got it wrong.

As it became clearer that this was not the case the work began of trying to mitigate the damage.

Where possible, those who were able, would have moved valuables upstairs and started to try to do whatever they could to keep the water out. This would have involved sandbags and flood gates, supplied to some properties after the flood a decade ago.

But the natural world is all powerful and so there was nothing for people to do than watch in horror in the early hours of Sunday morning as the town centre and its prime shopping areas began to look like Venice rather than a Worcestershire market town.

There was another peak on Sunday afternoon and then the water started to subside.

It was perhaps then that the real horror became apparent.

This was when the work of counting the cost started along with the sheer hard task of cleaning up.

River water is dirty, it is full of mud, silt and other debris that gets left behind.

The thing that struck many people was just how much mud had been deposited in the town.

Mud and silt are almost impossible to move, and river water leaves a smell that remains weeks and months after it has gone. Then there is the ‘tide mark’ that it leaves.

The natural reaction is to throw out things that have been ruined but people need to be careful as that is not always the best thing ahead of an insurance claim.

Shop keepers and businesses have to separate what can be salvaged from what cannot.

Any amount, of dryers and dehumidifiers, take a long time to touch the impact of a major flood.

There is the job of sorting out the insurance claim and for traders to see how quickly they can get back in business.

They will know that after last time some traders did not make it.

Shopping is a habit and people who move away because a business is closed may not be easy to win back.

Then going forward there is the knowledge that insurance will be harder to get and more expensive.

There is the knowledge that it can all happen again -next week, next month, next year or in 100 years - no one knows.