In pictures: Flooding causes huge disruption

ALMOST a week of persistent rainfall across North Somerset caused major disruption for hundreds of the district’s residents.

A number of severe weather warnings were issued by the Met Office throughout the past week as well as flood alerts for some rivers.

Flood water affected much of the area with Portbury, Backwell, Claverham, Congresbury and Wrington residents being the worst-hit.

In Portbury, the situation on the morning of November 21 was described as ‘hell’ by parish council chairman Peter Cooke.

At 6.30am, many residents were out in the severely flooded High Street working hard to control traffic and reduce the risk of water damage to homes and the village hall. The road was eventually closed as water levels continued to rise.

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The heavy rain caused landslips in Failand Lane and Portbury Lane, with both then closed to traffic for much of the week. The village was also badly flooded again on Saturday.

Cllr Cooke said: “The water was pouring down Portbury Lane and into the High Street.

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“A lot of the problems were caused by people driving through at speed, causing waves in the water.

“The residents have been absolutely brilliant.”

Also on November 21, Wraxall’s Tyntesfield estate had to be closed to the public after some its buildings became flooded.

Overnight from Thursday to Friday, more rain caused roads in Brockley, Claverham, Backwell, Portbury and Nailsea to be closed and throughout the week numerous train and bus services were disrupted.

In Wrington, many streets were badly affected and some residents created a makeshift dam to protect their homes. However, some homes in Farleigh Road, Backwell, did succumb to flood water, with bungalows experiencing sewers backing up, resulting in toilets overflowing.

On Friday afternoon, Congresbury residents living near the River Yeo were on a frantic search for sandbags due to fears it could burst its banks on their side. Earlier in the week its fast-flowing current had spilled over on the Millennium Green and surrounding land.

Over the weekend, North Somerset Council extended the hours of its helpline service and received a large number of calls throughout the week, with 800 on Thursday alone.

* In Chelvey, homes in Chelvey Lane were threatened by flood water on the night of November 20 and the next morning parts of the lane became impassable.

Mum and daughter, 65-year-old Gill and 46-year-old Teresa Gill, who live next door to each other in Alliance Homes properties, had to use brooms to stop the water

Teresa’s daughter Leanne, who does not drive, even walked from her home in Nailsea’s Greenfield Crescent on November 21 to help her relatives stop the water entering their properties.

Numerous calls were made to Alliance Homes, with each of them being incorrectly told the housing association did not give out sandbags. As a result, it was not until Friday afternoon that any were delivered.

Gill said: “I’m 65, registered disabled, waiting to go into hospital for a spinal operation and have been bending over trying to stop the water.

“They [Alliance Homes] said there was nothing they could do.”

An Alliance Homes spokesman said: “In an emergency situation our priority is to provide support to our most vulnerable tenants and we provided sandbags to a number of individuals last week. Although water did not enter Mrs Gill’s property we are sorry that Mrs Gill did not get the best service from us and that it took us over a day to get the sandbags to her.”

* For more flooding pictures click on the gallery link at the top of this story.

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