Floods cause chaos in Weston

ALMOST a month s worth of rain fell in just a few hours in the Weston area, causing flooding chaos.

ALMOST a month's worth of rain fell in just a few hours in the Weston area, causing flooding chaos.

Across North Somerset the rainfall on Friday afternoon caused severe damage and resulted in hundreds of calls to emergency services.

Weston resident Chris Cudlipp says a 'red river' was running near his home on Bleadon Hill as the water was carrying so much soil. From 8am-8pm on Friday he measured 29.2mm of rainfall, compared to January 2006 when 35mm of rain fell in total.

The rain started to ease on Saturday with 5.2mm falling between 8am-8pm and only 4.8mm fell during a 24-hour period on Sunday.

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Rivers in the area have been on Environment Agency Flood Watch since Friday. Congresbury Yeo and its tributaries are at risk from flooding.

An agency spokesman said: "It is important to be vigilant and take appropriate action when a Flood Watch is in force as flooding is possible and the situation could worsen."

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Train services between Weston and Bristol are slowly getting back to normal after severe flooding and a landslip caused the lines to be closed. The landslip at Flax Bourton has now been cleared but water is still on the lines and trains are travelling through slowly. While services were cancelled on Friday and Saturday, coaches were provided so commuters could get home safely.

Bad weather also caused delays at Bristol International Airport. Snowfall on Friday afternoon meant six flights were cancelled, others experienced delays and six flights had to be diverted to other airports. Flights are now back to normal.

Avon and Somerset Constabulary attended about 130 calls from 1-5pm on Friday.

A spokesman said: "North Somerset and Somerset have a lot of rural roads and our main job was sorting out highways. We tended to support the fire brigade in their work but it was them dealing with pumping out the water.

"The M5 was heavily congested on Friday but this may have been down to a lane closure further north in South Gloucester."

Avon Fire and Rescue and Somerset and Devon fire services were also inundated with calls relating to the flooding and issued safety tips for dealing with the problems, which can be viewed on our website.

For advice and tips on flooding call the Environment Agency Floodline on 0845 9881188.

* Send us your pictures and emails about the floods to Newsdesk@thewestonmercury.co.uk or log on to www.thewestonmercury.co.uk to see stories and photographs.

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