Torrential rain causes floods, road closures and train line disruptions throughout South West

PUBLISHED: 12:47 15 December 2008 | UPDATED: 10:11 10 June 2010

TORRENTIAL rain has caused flooding in parts of the south-west this weekend causing the closure of roads and disruption to rail services, the Met Office says.

TORRENTIAL rain has caused flooding in parts of the south-west this weekend causing the closure of roads and disruption to rail services, the Met Office says.

More than 50mm of rain fell across the region overnight on 12-13 December - particularly in Devon, Cornwall, Somerset, Dorset, and Wiltshire.

Forty flood warnings and 41 flood watches were issued by the Environment Agency.

Initial reports suggest more than 50 properties have been flooded throughout the south west.

The majority of the flooding was caused by surface water from the roads with several people being rescued from flood waters by the emergency services.

Train services between London, Bristol and the south-west of England were disrupted and flooding of roads was widespread.

Fields team from the Environment Agency maintained flood defences across the region throughout the night.

Screen clearance and the checking of drains and culverts as well as removing debris from river channels was carried out on Friday night and Saturday morning to reduce the risk of property flooding.

Environment Agency spokesman Adrian Rushworth said: "The torrential rain caused a lot of problems on the roads with several roads in Chard, Ilminster and Shepton Mallet being flooded.

"Ottery St Mary town council in East Devon was also alerted in advance of the predicted heavy rainfall.

"The work of our teams helped to keep screens clear and ensure our scheme was fully working and there was no repeat of the flooding which occurred two months ago.

'All our flood defences have operated as designed protecting well over 100 properties across Devon and Cornwall.

"Rivers in Somerset, Dorset and Wiltshire are generally falling, but some remain high, especially the Parrett and Tone, and will only drain slowly.

"What happened again highlights the dangers of flooding and the importance of people being aware of the risk and taking action to protect their lives and property.


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