West remains on flood alert as extreme weather hits region
The West remains on flood alert after a day of deluges across England and Wales, which closed main line rail routes and forced police to declare the extreme weather a ‘major incident’.
The Meterological Office forecast heavy rain for the West overnight and more showers today.
In Bristol, Avon Fire and Rescue Service asked motorists to keep an eye on weather reports and if there is heavy rain again to take it easy on the roads – leave plenty of time for journeys and plenty of room between your vehicle and the vehicle in front.
Thirteen flood alerts remained on rivers and streams across Somerset, Bristol and parts of Wiltshire last night, including the Avon, Frome, Bristol Floating harbour, Parrett, Brue and Chew.
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Yesterday the West heaved a sigh of relief as Wales, the North and East suffered the worst of the downpours which brought chaos to many journeys.
An inquest also began yesterday into floods at a vital NHS centre where blood for hospitals across the region is stored.
Businesses and home-owners were also still clearing up and counting the cost of Monday’s downpours in the West. Water levels have risen in the rivers draining the Somerset Levels where torrential rains this spring and summer led to hundreds of acres of grassland on Curry Moor being ruined by standing water – which led to a plague of mosquitoes. Even some willow growers had crops ruined by the earlier inundations.
An Environment Agency spokesman said yesterday: “The situation on Curry Moor is that we will operate the pumps when we can. The river levels are quite high and we need capacity in the river to be able to use the pumps and we expect to be able to increase in the next 24-48 hours.”
Many communities in the Chew Valley are continuing to mop up in the aftermath of the floods.
The River Chew and Winford Brook burst their banks as heavy rain brought Chew Magna and Chew Stoke to a standstill.
Chew Valley School remained open but the primary schools in Chew Magna and Chew Stoke were closed.
In Bristol the largest blood manufacturing facility in the world has relocated its supplies to save its stock and keep up with hospital demand. The NHS Blood and Transplant centre in Filton managed to move all stocks to alternative sites after the centre – located in a business park close to water – was hit in the storm. Sources at the centre – built in 2008 – said that it was an accident waiting to happen, adding that the site was built on a flood plain.
For more details of the forecast visit our weather pages.