England

Flood warnings after snowfall in west of England

  • 5 November 2012
  • From the section England

Flood warnings have been issued after three inches of snow fell across parts of the West Country and southern England, causing disruption to transport.

The snowfall happened early on Sunday and affected parts of Wiltshire, Somerset, North Dorset and Devon.

Seventeen flood warnings have been issued as the snow begins to melt away, with one bridge in danger of collapse.

A BBC weather forecaster said brighter weather was expected on Monday.

Areas including Bath, Frome and Midsomer Norton and Radstock in the Mendips were affected by snow, with up to 6in (15cm) reported in places.

Bournemouth experienced the most rainfall in the UK, with 30mm (1.2in) falling in 24 hours. The Dorset town would normally expect to receive 100mm (4in) of rain on average for the whole of November.

Image caption Flood caused problems for motorists on the A44 near Chipping Norton in the Cotswolds

More than 80 less severe flood alerts have been issued in other areas of England and Wales.

Craig Woolhouse, Environment Agency flood risk manager, said: "Only last week the organisation warned that flooding could be more likely this winter as a result of heavy rainfall during the summer and higher than normal rivers and groundwater levels.

"Anyone in a flood risk area can get free early warnings with vital information to keep themselves and their property safe."

'Different world'

Wiltshire Police said several vehicles became stuck in snow near Bradford-on-Avon.

Bath and North East Somerset Council said it had been caught unaware because no snow was forecast.

Steph Clegg, from Bruton in Somerset, who was trying to drive to Cardiff on Sunday morning, said: "We set off and there was sleet. When we got to Shepton Mallet it got much heavier.

"Vans were having to pull over and people were turning around and skidding everywhere. It was like a completely different world."

Several roads in the region have been affected by flooding.

Trains affected

The A357 through Templecombe in Somerset has been closed in both directions because of concerns a bridge wall could collapse, Avon and Somerset Police said.

Roads have also been flooded in Malmesbury and Tidworth in Wiltshire.

The Environment Agency issued flood warnings for several rivers in the area, including the Tetbury Avon at Malmesbury and the River Chew near Keynsham.

Football matches were also affected, as FA Cup ties at non-league Braintree Town and Gloucester City were postponed due to waterlogged pitches.

Earlier, trains between Swindon and Gloucester had to be replaced by buses because of flooding near Kemble but First Great Western said the line had now been reopened.

Several bus services in the Bath and Wells areas which were cancelled because of snow were getting back to normal, a spokesman for First Bristol said.

Light snow was also reported in parts of Gloucestershire and on the hilltops of Dartmoor above Okehampton in Devon.

BBC weather forecaster Matt Taylor said heavy rain across much of southern, central and eastern England had "turned to snow on the western flank as it engaged cold air".

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