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Widespread flood chaos in Somerset after another night of torrential rain

By This is Somerset  |  Posted: November 25, 2012

  • The flooded A362 at Wallbridge, Frome, this morning. Photo from FromePeople

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Somerset woke up to widespread flooding and storm damage this morning after another night of torrential rain and high winds.

Devon and Somerset Fire and Rescue Service said it received more than 400 emergency calls between 8pm last night and this morning.

The most severe emergencies occurred in Devon, notably in Exeter where a woman in her 20s was killed and two injured by a falling tree shortly before midnight.

In Somerset, six people had to be rescued from their caravans at Hoburne Holiday Park.

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Two fire crews from Minehead were called to the Blue Anchor West site at 1.15am, and were joined by another two crews from Williton and Bridgwater's specialist water rescue team.

Crews checked 95 caravans, and rescued six people from the flooded park by inflatable boat.

The fire service also confirmed receiving multiple reports of rescuing people trapped in cars which became stranded in flood water.

At the height of the extreme weather overnight, stretches of both the M5 and A303 roads were closed due to problems with flooding and surface water.

The M5 motorway was closed between junction 25 for Taunton and junction 26 for Wellington due to the extremely hazardous conditions, while the A303 was closed between the Southfields Roundabout at Ilminster and the A30 junction at Upottery.

Williton was hit hard by flooding overnight, with parts of the village under as much as three feet of water this morning.

As a result, the A358 was closed near the A39 Fore Street junction.

The A39 was closed in both directions between Carhampton and Washford, while a stretch of the A361 road between Taunton and Street has been closed since lunchtime yesterday.

The flooded stretch of the road is between East Lyng and Burrowbridge, and some parts of the road are reported to be under three feet of water.

Among the other flood-related calls fire crews answered last night was a car rescue on a road between Bishops Lydeard and Bridgwater at around 5.30pm.

Another water rescue was carried out at Broadway, Ilminster, shortly before 9.30pm.

Avon Fire and Rescue Service said it received 32 flood-related emergency calls from around 8.30pm last night, including several in North Somerset.

A family with a 12-month-old baby were rescued from a car that had become stranded in flood water near Blagdon.

Fire crews initially gave the family advice over the phone, while a rescue team was sent to the scene at Aldwick Lane near Butcombe Farm shortly after 10.30pm.

The family was still in the vehicle when crews arrived, and were brought to dry land by rescuers using an inflatable boat.

They were then passed over to the care of ambulance crews.

Earlier that night, crews from Paulton were called to Brookside to help divert a large volume of flowing flood water away from several domestic garages.

Towns and villages across Somerset are also taking action against flooding overnight after more than 40mm of rain fell on Saturday.

Cornwall and Devon were badly hit, with many homes in Cornwall evacuated after the Environment Agency issued four severe flood warnings - the most urgent alert it can give - in Polperro, Helston, Perranporth and Lostwithiel overnight.

Click here for the latest Somerset weather forecast.

At 8am this morning, more than 150 flood warnings and alerts were in place across the South West, including areas near all rivers in Somerset.

For live updates and the latest Environment Agency flood information, see the panel below.


Photos: November floods cause chaos in Somerset

Video: Village main road turned into river as torrential rain hits Somerset

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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