Rains came down and floods came up

CARPETS had to be ripped up, floors dried and furniture salvaged after a couple’s home was flooded by a stream which had not been cleared by the council responsible.

Sara and Richard Talbott have for many years, along with their neighbours, made efforts to ensure the brook near their homes in Moor Lane, Walton-in-Gordano, is kept clear of debris so it does not overflow.

However, during heavy rain on Monday morning, it burst its banks where a culvert running under the lane had become blocked with vegetation.

The resulting water flowed into their gardens, with levels reaching as high as two feet in some areas, and a long section of Moor Lane was turned into a fast-flowing river as the water spilled out of the stream.

The whole of the downstairs of Mr and Mrs Talbott’s cottage was also flooded, leaving carpets floating and furniture sodden. This was the first time in the 18 years they have lived there, their house has been flooded.

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Mrs Talbott said: “We woke up at about 7am to hear the sound of running water and found the downstairs flooded and our pets paddling.

“Each summer we have cleared part of the stream.

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“However, last time the road flooded, North Somerset Council said it would take responsibility for it.

“We then all got letters saying we shouldn’t try to clear the stream ourselves due to health and safety reasons.

“I think since then, they have probably done it once. They cleared the verges but not the bed of the stream.

“They have been out two or three times in the past six weeks after a verge collapsed but haven’t done anything.

“I just don’t think they have kept their end of the bargain.

“If we had cleared the stream ourselves we might have been better off.”

Mr and Mrs Talbott, along with their neighbours and a local farmer, spent much of Monday bailing water away from their homes and attempting to clear the stream.

Later in the day they were tasked with ripping up their carpets and attempting to dry out their home.

* They were just some of many North Somerset residents affected by the heavy rain which fell overnight between Sunday and Monday.

In Clevedon, eight to 10 homes in Kingston Avenue had their gardens flooded, with the water also running under floorboards, causing the electrics to cut out in some homes. Residents used buckets and wheelie bins to take water away from their properties before fire crews turned up to help pump it away.

In Clover Close, Clevedon, 20 homes were affected by flood water and two people had to be rescued by firefighters. In Congresbury, two people were rescued from a car in Wrington Road and the Millennium Green also became flooded when the River Yeo overflowed.

Further flooding caused disruption in Backwell, Portbury, Long Ashton, Flax Bourton, Wrington and Barrow Gurney. Some schools in Flax Bourton, Portishead, Portbury and Claverham were closed on Monday and train services between Highbridge and Nailsea and Backwell were either heavily delayed or cancelled.

Between 5am and 10am on Monday, Avon Fire and Rescue Service attended some 41 incidents but also gave advice to 126 people who phoned for assistance.

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