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Video: Flooding causes traffic chaos and road closures in Somerset

By This is Somerset  |  Posted: November 21, 2012

  • The flooded A38 between Taunton and Wellington

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Severe flooding brought traffic chaos to Somerset's roads this morning after torrential overnight rain.

Several roads were closed for hours, and many more are expected to remain impassable or partially blocked for much of the afternoon while the floods ease.

Devon and Somerset Fire and Rescue Service received more than 300 emergency calls for assistance this morning, including from motorists who had got stuck trying to drive through flooded stretches of road.

The A38 was closed between Wellington and Taunton, and many cars were left abandoned on the side of the road after becoming stranded at the height of the flooding.

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Other parts of the road were impassable between Wellington and Willand in Devon, but the worst-hit stretch was between the Willowbrook and Blackdown Garden Centres.

Water flowed into the road which, at the height of the flooding at around 7am, was under two feet of water.

This video shows the extent of the flooding on the A38 between the two garden centres. It was filmed at around 10am, by which time the water levels had started to ease.

Devon and Somerset Fire and Rescue Service said that, among its 311 calls for assistance this morning, 18 involved rescuing drivers from stranded vehicles.

Two people were also rescued after becoming stranded while attempted to save cattle from flood water.

Crews from Avon and Dorset are also helping firefighters in the county.

A fire service spokesman said: "Do not attempt to drive through flooded roads or fords. The water is often deeper than it looks and may be moving quite fast.

"Your vehicle may be swept away or become stranded. Vehicles can float away in just two feet of water.

"If your vehicle stalls, leave it immediately if safe to do so and seek higher ground.

"Do not attempt to walk through flooded areas. Even shallow water moving fast can sweep you off your feet and there may be hidden dangers such as open drains, damaged road surfaces, submerged debris or deep channels.

"These can cause serious injuries or even death."

As well as the A38, other roads closed included the A39 in Washford, which was closed in both directions at Dragons Cross.

The A39 was also closed in both directions between the St Mary's Street junction in Nether Stowey and the Main Road junction in Cannington.

The A358 in Donyatt was blocked in both directions at the Church Street junction, while the same road was also impassable between Chard and Axminster in East Devon.

In North Somerset, the A370 was closed in both directions between Congresbury and Flax Bourton in Backwell.

The worst of the rain is forecast to ease by lunchtime, and the flooding is expected to ease this afternoon.

Click here for the latest Somerset weather forecast.

For the latest information on flood warnings and alerts in the region, click on the Environment Agency panel below.


Video: Flooding causes traffic chaos and road closures in Somerset

Video: Willowbrook Garden Centre devastated by A38 flooding near Taunton

Photos: Flooding in South Somerset

Photos: Flooding around Mid-Somerset

Photos: Flood chaos on roads around Taunton and Wellington

Photos: Floods at French Weir Park in Taunton

Photos: Taunton floods - police cordon off River Tone areas

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