Flooding in North Somerset UPDATED
By Carol_Deacon | Wednesday, November 21, 2012, 14:24
TWO schools in North Somerset have been closed due to the bad weather and the road at Backwell was closed for a while.
The kitchen of a Wrington cottage
Entrance to sixth form block at Backwell School
Heavy rainfall affected areas of North Somerset last night, with localised flooding and surface water affecting some services and key routes across the district.
The Larch Centre and The Acorns at Weston-super-Mare are closed today (Wednesday).
Recycling and waste collection services in North Somerset have also been affected by localised flooding.
Collections today at Portbury, Pill and Portishead areas are subject to delays.
A North Somerset spokesman said: "Please put out your recycling and waste as normal and we will collect as soon as possible."
The council intends to collect during the next few days.
Some council supported bus routes have also been affected by flooding and the following routes have been diverted.
Service 121 Bristol to Weston-super-Mare is being diverted in Locking, Lower Langford and Wrington.
Service 66 Nailsea to Congresbury is missing out Portbury village and being diverted via Failand. Also Walton Bay not being served and bus diverted via Valley Road, Portishead.
Congresbury villager Ian Thompson, of Thompson Commercial, said he hasn't been able to leave his home.
He said: "I can't get too far away from home having tried in vain to get to Yatton which is cut off due to flooding and cars passing my house in the direction of Backwell which is three miles away are crawling past.
"A person working at Nailsea Town Council told me it took her an hour to get to the Tithe Barn from Congresbury.
"I had planned to return tables they kindly loaned us for a trader's meeting last night but without an ark I can't get there."
Avon and Somerset Police said a small number of motorists had been stranded in their vehicles and warned drivers not to attempt to go through deep water.
People living in Chew Magna, North Somerset, say they have not seen flooding this bad for decades.
Wrington resident Melanie Greenwood posted photos of her flooded hall on Facebook.
She said: "The joys of living in 400 year old cottage at bottom of Mendips."
BBC Weather presenter Ian Fergusson said as of 17:00 BST up to 80mm (3.1in) of rain had fallen in parts of Somerset.
Mr Fergusson said: "While we expect a fair degree of dry and blustery weather to prevail into Tuesday morning further heavy showers followed by more widespread rain are quite capable of adding to localised flooding problems."
The Environment Agency has nine flood warnings have been issued for rivers in the South West of England.
STOP PRESS THURSDAY: North Somerset Coachers boss David Fricker reports more bad weather and rail disruption expected today, Thursday.
He said: "First Great Western has already confirmed no trains running through west of Tiverton.
"This will affect morning peak trains from Nailsea to Bristol.
"Our X54 express buses will be out at normal times and we will be pleased to welcome more new faces.
"Return fare £4.50 from Nailsea to Bristol City Centre and Temple Quay."
Avon Fire and Rescue says its crews have saved at least 24 people from floodwaters.
Its control room at Lansdown took more than 140 flood-related calls up to 3pm.
Some people were rescued from cars, others from homes.
North Somerset was the worst affected area, with multiple calls for help in Backwell, Claverham, Congresbury and in and around the Chew Magna area.
Bedminster crews used a raft to search a vehicle in water at Chapel Hill, Backwell.
This car was submerged in water.
Swift water rescue team members searched the vehicle but no people were found.
Despite some flooding Backwell School is running as normal.
A spokesman said: "We will keep a watchful eye over the weather for the next few days and keep in contact with the coach companies."
The National Trust property at Tyntesfield near Wraxall was closed on Wednesday and staff spent the whole day mopping up.
The flooding affected the shop and restaurant at Home Farm.
The house and its contents are fine but a deluge of water has got into the shop and restaurant at the visitor centre.
Due to flooding the Cow Barn Kitchen will not be able to offer its full menu today, Thursday, November 22.
STOP PRESS FRIDAY: A Somerset man died after a vehicle became trapped in flood water last night.
Emergency services were alerted to reports of a 4x4 in water at Pilgrims Way, Chew Stoke, at around 9pm.
Avon Fire and Rescue Service said crews were joined at the scene by members of the Bedminster-based swift water rescue team to help recover the man, believed to be in his 70s, from the vehicle.
After getting stranded in the water, the vehicle became wedged under a bridge near to a ford at Rectory Fields.
It was a busy night of flood-related call-outs for emergency services across Somerset.
Click HERE for the latest weather forecast for this area.
Closer to home the National Grid shut up shop at Nailsea and Congresbury because of the bad weather.
A notice on the door on Wednesday said: "Owing to the bad weather and subsequent road closures, the Nailsea and Congresbury Community Information Hubs will be closed until further notice. We apologise for the inconvenience and will re-open as soon as we can. In the meantime you can get information, including maps and reports, on the website or at the Bridgwater and Avonmouth Hubs.
Nailsea Against Pylons spokesman Fiona Erleigh said: "That's a bit pathetic.
"I managed to get my children to school from Nailsea to central Bristol and back again.
"My husband got to work and back home on the train."
And fellow campaigner Maggie Gregory agreed.
She said: "That is totally pathetic."
Gale force winds and heavy rain caused havoc with local bus services.
North Somerset Coaches boss David Fricker said: "In view of the expected hazards in the morning of tree debris and flooded roads we plan to allocate only single-deck vehicles on Thursday and Friday.
"The Service X5 to St Katherine's School at Pill will be operated by two single-decks instead of the usual double-decker."
North Somerset Council said heavy rainfall and high winds overnight continue to affect the district with localised flooding, surface water and fallen trees affecting key routes and some services.
A spokesman said: "More bad weather is expected over the next couple of days and we are urging people to be prepared and plan journeys carefully as the transport network could be affected. Weather information can be found on the Met Office website.
"We are doing what we can to reduce the impact of flooding, but householders are also encouraged to take precautions to reduce the risk of flooding to their own homes. You can find out more about steps to take in our Flood advice note and our flooding page.
The following roads are currently CLOSED:
- A368 - Churchill traffic lights to Dinghurst Road
- Brockley Coombe Road, Brockley
- Portbury Lane, Portbury
- Main Road, Hutton
- Failand Lane, Failand
- Nailsea Wall, Nailsea
The following roads are flooded but passable with care:
- Various locations along the A370 from Flax Bourton to Congresbury
- A369 Abbots Leigh
- Claverham Road, Claverham
High winds may cause trees to fall and block roads in some areas and travellers are advised to take extra care travelling on tree-lined roads.
People who come across a fallen tree which is causing a hazard are asked to report it to Council Connect on 01934 888 802 as they have teams standing-by ready to respond.
If a road has a 'road closed' sign up then it really does mean that the road is shut and drivers should not be tempted to negotiate that stretch of road but find an alternative route.
Refuse crews will be out collecting today as normal but some collections have been delayed due to localised flooding on the roads.
Householders are asked to put out your recycling and waste as normal and it will be collected as soon as possible.
Some council supported bus routes have been affected by flooding and Service 4/4A is currently unable to serve Hutton due to a landslip.