Emergency pipes brought in to protect homes
A NETWORK of temporary pipes has been installed on a Weston-super-Mare estate to stop homes from flooding.
North Somerset Council staff and teams from Wessex Water have been working around the clock to stop floodwater getting into homes at Summer Lane and Bransby Way.
Water started to wash into the streets – threatening local properties – after a flood attenuation pond used by Wessex Water overfilled during heavy rain earlier this week.
Council staff and emergency teams were first called to the area on Tuesday afternoon.
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Locking Castle medical centre was evacuated and Baytree School was closed on Wednesday because of the threat of water seeping into the building.
Crews remained on site working to remove the excess water away from the site at Summer Lane through a network of pipes.
The road had to be closed from the bottom of the Summer Lane bridge junction with Glastonbury Way to the other side of the bridge at the roundabout junction with Bransby Way while the piping work was carried out.
Wessex Water will also be creating a footway to allow access for residents over the bridge.
A flood defence wall has also been constructed and residents along the stretch of the defence have been given gel bags which act like a sand bag to protect their properties should they need them. Although the water level had started to disperse by yesterday afternoon, further heavy rain is forecast.
North Somerset Council executive member for the environment, Peter Bryant, said: "The sheer volume of water that fell on Sunday night has caused huge problems across North Somerset.
"In the case of Summer Lane, the pond is unable to cope with the volume of water and steps have had to be taken to minimise flooding."
The council has been inundated with calls after around 70mm of rain fell on Sunday night.
By 2pm on Monday the authority's contact centre had had logged 1,700 weather related calls.
A multi-agency conference call, involving the Environment Agency, Police and Wessex Water, was held by lunchtime on Monday to determine the severity of the situation. All area officers were given a detailed list of problem areas in the district and worked closely with the drainage team to share resources and an action plan.
An additional crew from highways contractor Balfour Beatty was also put in place to dig out and rod gullies where necessary.
More than 50 roads across the district had major flooding issues and the heavy rain also caused a land slip in Dundry and a section of road on the A370 to collapse.
The majority of flooding was caused by the sheer volume of surface water. Bus services were disrupted, alon
g with the council's waste and recycling collections and four schools had to close earlier in the week. North Somerset Council spokeswoman, Zoe Briffitt, said: "More than 40 roads were inaccessible due to the weather, meaning that collections could not be made to hundreds of properties.
"Other collections were also disrupted but by the end of Tuesday, the majority of these collections had been completed.