LIVE UPDATES: More heavy rain and gales on the way
Avon Fire and Rescue attended 57 flooding-related calls in a seven-hour period last night. Between 6pm and 1am crews attended dealt with many incidents involving flooded properties and several where vehicles had become stuck in flood water. There were about six people who were rescued from their vehicles or were pushed out of flood water by rescue crews. Earlier in the day Avon Fire and Rescue Service received ten calls relating to the strong winds. Between 3.30pm and 6pm crews were called to deal with trees that had come down and damage to properties. Avon Fire and Rescue Service spokesman Darren Bane renewed his warning about the weather reminding people to monitor forecasts. There are several flood warnings in place - for more information see the Environment Agency's website. For more details of the forecast visit our weather pages. First Great Western are reporting problems on some of the trains, and advising people to keep an eye on their journey checker. UPDATE 10.30AM Update from Network Rail: Rail services on the West of England line continue to be severely disrupted between Yeovil Junction and Exeter St David as a result of significant damage caused by the heavy rainfall in the South West. The heavy rain fall yesterday caused a landslip blocking the line between Axminster and Honiton and significant damage by flooding to a railway embankment at Broom Level Crossing near Axminster. As a result, there are no train services running between Yeovil Junction and Exeter St Davids until the line is repaired. Work is expected to be completed in time to allow the line to reopen for the first train on Monday morning. A bus replacement service will continue to operate between Yeovil Junction and Exeter St Davids until the line reopens. South West Trains services which normally run between London Waterloo and Axminster/Exeter St Davids are running from London Waterloo to Yeovil Junction only. Replacement bus services are in operation, with a fast bus service between Exeter St Davids and Yeovil Junction calling at Exeter Central, Honiton, Axminster and Crewkerne only. A stopping bus service is operating between Exeter St Davids and Axminister calling at Exeter Central, Pinhoe, Whimple, Feniton and Honiton. Journey times to these stations may be affected by flooding in the area and poor road conditions. Currently, it is not possible for South West Trains customers to use First Great Western services between Exeter and London due to flooding also affecting the line between Exeter and London Paddington. The Wessex route remains blocked between Yeovil Junction and Pinhoe until further notice following yesterday's severe flooding. A revised train plan in operation. The line is not expected to reopen until Monday morning. On the Western route, the Up and Down line remains blocked at Cowley Bridge Junction, between Exeter St Davids and Taunton, including the single line Barnstaple Branch, following yesterday's severe flooding. Ballast has been washed away for over 220 yards. The line is not expected to reopen until Sunday morning. On the Taunton to Westbury line, the Up line is blocked at Athelney, between Cogload and Castle Cary, due to flooding. A Network Rail watchperson is on site. The Down line is available for use although there are track circuit failures. On the line between Wootton Bassett and Westerleigh (Swindon - Bristol Parkway) there are track circuit failures due to flooding at Chipping Sodbury. Flooding has affected both lines. The route is being used for freight services only to relieve congestion on diversionary routes. At Flax Bourton (between Bristol Temple Meads and Weston super Mare), there is normal linespeed on the Up line and a 20mph speed restriction on the Down line following two further landslips on the embankment. At Hallam West (Avonmouth – Bristol Parkway), water is standing on both lines but is not causing track circuit failures. The trains are running normally. In Cornwall, the St Ives Branch Line is also blocked due to flooding. It is hoped to reopen the route this morning if the floodwater recedes. UPDATE 1PM: A rescue operation is under way in Keynsham to rescue a woman understood to be trapped on a houseboat at the Portavon Marina. Teams from Avon Fire & Rescue are at the scene as are several ambulances. At the neighbouring Lock Keeper pub the garden and car park are under several feet of water as are the cellars where the River Avon has burst its banks. Meanwhile at Keynsham Memorial Park paths are under water where the River Chew has burst its banks. Parts of the Bath Hill East Car Park in the town are also under water. UPDATE 1.43PM The latest forecast for the rest of the day and the weekend: Don't get used to the sunshine - it will cloud over overnight. Tomorrow rain and strong winds are forecast to be spreading north across the region, giving a renewed risk of flooding. Gales are possible in exposed spots. The rain will be turning heavy at times, particularly later in the day. Temperatures won't get above 11°C. The rain is forecast to clear for a time on Sunday, with winds easing. But further spells of heavy rain and strong winds are expected through Monday and Tuesday, with a risk of further disruption.UPDATE 5.07PM South Gloucestershire Council announces that the A431 Bath Road, which links Bristol to Bath via Hanham and Bitton, will be closed all weekend at Swineford because of flooding. Diversions via the A4 have been set up and drivers are being advised to find alternative routes. More information on flooding and road closures in South Gloucestershire is available at www.southglos.gov.uk/flooding or Twitter @sgloscouncil UPDATE 7.20PM Police say that student officers and PCSOs in training at the Avon and Somerset force's Portishead headquarters were drafted in to help deal with flooding problems on the ground. The students helped divert traffic from flooded areas and a road blocked by fallen tree in Pensford, helped by staff from their training school. UPDATE 7.30PM Flood warnings are lifted by the Environment Agency on the river Frome between Yate and Stapleton, the Chew between Chew Stoke and Keynsham, the Winford Brook at Chew Magna and the Congresbury Yeo between Wrington and Congresbury. The river Frome remains on flood alert - a lower warning level - on its entire length between Chipping Sodbury and the Floating Harbour, while a flood warning has been in place on the Avon between Bath and Bristol since this morning.
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