There is no let-up in sight for flood-hit communities in Shropshire after heavy rain overnight caused the River Severn to breach emergency defences.

More wet weather is forecast in some of the worst-affected areas, with parts of Wales and the North West of England predicted to see another 0.8in to 1.6in (2cm to 4cm) of rain, according to the Met Office.

Railway lines into Shrewsbury were closed due to the rising water levels close to the viaduct.

Network Rail said: "The exceptionally high-water levels in the Severn and the closure of these lives serve to highlight the extreme weather we've experienced across the network over the last few weeks.

"The current situation in Shrewsbury is very much a once-in-a-generation event."

It said engineers would be undertaking an underwater inspection of the viaduct's structure on Wednesday morning before lines can reopen.

In the at-risk town of Ironbridge, the force of the river forced flood defences backwards, although they managed to hold.

Shortly after 1am on Wednesday, Chief Superintendent Tom Harding, of West Mercia Police, tweeted: "The barrier appears intact but has indeed moved. This will be monitored throughout the night."

Speaking at Ironbridge on Wednesday morning, Marc Lidderth, EA environment manager, said water levels had dropped by about 0.3in (1cm).

But he added: "The severe flood warning that we have issued here at Ironbridge is still in force, which means there is a significant risk to life, so we need people to remain vigilant and to listen to the advice that's coming from the emergency services."

He said that although the barriers had moved, they were still holding water and the over-topping the EA had feared had not happened.

The agency is keeping a close eye on the barriers on the Severn, Mr Lidderth said. He added that drones may be used later today to assess the defences.

Roads around the Ironbridge Gorge have also been closed to stop people driving in floodwater, Telford and Wrekin Council said.

The level of the River Severn reached more than 22ft (6.79m) in the Shropshire village of Buildwas at around 8.30am on Wednesday - up from a level of 16ft (4.19m) on Sunday.