Flooding in Bridgwater sparks river wall collapse fear

The damaged river wall at East Quay in Bridgwater, close to the River Parrett
Image caption The East Quay area has been cordoned off

Part of Bridgwater town centre in Somerset has been closed off amid fears a riverside wall could collapse after heavy rain.

Emergency services were called to East Quay, close to the River Parrett, after cracks appeared in the wall. A 50m cordon has been set up.

The Environment Agency has inspected the wall and are monitoring the scene.

Nearby homes have been evacuated, and 19 people are spending the night in emergency accommodation.

Wessex Water says it is laying a temporary pipe overground to divert sewage from a major sewer that runs under the pavement, following the wall collapse. It says services to their customers will not be affected by the work.

Fore Street, West quay, East quay and Town Bridge have been closed.

Local resident Lucy Bidwell said she had been walking to a pub to meet her boyfriend when she noticed a lot of people on the town bridge.

'Two-foot deep'

"The river wall is close to collapsing and they've evacuated the town bridge now and there are police and firemen there," she said.

Image caption Heavy rain also hit the Bruton area at about 14:30 GMT on Friday

"The river level doesn't look like it's reached its peak but it's been really heavy rain all day and it's an old road.

"It looks like it could take a house out with it if it does go."

Firecrew also tackled flooding at six homes at Cuckoo Hill in Bruton, where an elderly woman was rescued.

"When crews arrived they found water two-foot deep in places," a spokesman said.

Around the BBC

Related Internet links

The BBC is not responsible for the content of external Internet sites