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Heavy rain wreaks flooding havoc in Gloucestershire

By The Citizen  |  Posted: November 22, 2012

Flooding in Moreton Valance

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BROOKS turned to rivers, cars were abandoned and journeys aborted after more than two weeks worth of rain fell in one day yesterday.

An unprecedented downpour hit the county on Tuesday afternoon and it persisted relentlessly with around 30mm falling overnight, causing misery across the county yesterday.

For Ben Reade, 24, from Upton St Leonards, the deluge ruined his plans to move into his new home with his girlfriend Linzi Weare, 23.

"I arrived at the house in Castle Lane, Moreton Valence, and couldn't believe my eyes," said Ben.

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"There was water all the way around the house about four and a half feet high, there were cars floating in the street. I didn't get close enough to see but I assume the water was in the house. We are absolutely gutted. I can't believe it."

Gloucestershire County Council teams were out clearing gullies and pumping water from the roads at hotspots. The worst affected areas were the B4008, A38, A419, A40, A48, A4173 and A429.

Lobleys Drive, in Abbeymead, was closed while flooding problems were rife on the A48 at Chaxhill and many other roads were deemed impassable.

Over in Stroud, people battled to keep the water from flowing into Standish Church, with a makeshift barrier erected to divert the flow.

Residents of low-lying Bridgend in Stonehouse were awash for the seventh time in five years.

Resident there, Mark Horner, said the River Frome nearby was at least two metres higher than normal. "I'm gutted," Mr Horner said, as the fire service pumped water from his home.

Another resident, Julie Payne, said her garden and patio were completely underwater.

"We watched the water rise this morning," she said. "It started with just a puddle on the patio and then it rose so fast. It's at least five feet higher than normal."

Elsewhere, Moat Primary School and Hartpury Primary School were among 14 schools in the county forced to close.

Cars were left stranded in Brookthorpe and Whaddon, while other drivers chose to head home after setting out into the torrential conditions.

There was also disruption to the rail network. Network Rail advised First Great Western not to operate services through Chipping Sodbury and the Severn Tunnel while some trains had to run at reduced speeds.

But carers in Maisemore refused to let the conditions get the better of them.

Sara Zielinski, manager at Flexi-Care Home Services in Maisemore, said: "We supply care to people in their homes, and there was no way we weren't going to get to them.

"Two of our ladies; Anna Macey-Michael and Jenna Macey-Brown, put bin bags around their feet and legs and waded to a lady in Hartpury."

It seems more rain is on the horizon too.

The Citizen's weather expert Ian Thomas said: "In Dursley between 10am on Tuesday and 10am yesterday there was 41mm of rainfall. The monthly average for the whole of November is 70mm.

"It will be like this tomorrow all over again.

"There will be a bright start with rain coming in from the west afterwards. I expect another 20mm to 25mm of rain tomorrow."

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  • Takeaway22  |  November 22 2012, 12:53PM

    IsitJimKerr - Thank you for the response. However: a. Cars were getting stuck BEFORE it got dark ie early afternoon. b. Are car drivers so needy that they need direction given to them by the relevant authorities? If so, should they be driving? I do think your very last sentence is the truth; they took a chance :- sometimes it pays off, other times it doesn't. When it doesn't...boy isn't it expensive!

  • Beegeeuk  |  November 22 2012, 10:39AM

    Unprecedented??? Were TIG's reporters not around in 2007 or are they really just totally incompetent???

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  • IsitJimKerr  |  November 22 2012, 10:34AM

    Takeaway22.....................because; a) It's dark and deep floods appear just like a little surface water b) Given no direction by the relevant authorities, and time constraints, people take a chance. I drive at night, and yesterday morning I drove at speed through four or five very deep stretches of water. There are a number of known flood areas, such as Moreton Vallance, the end of Quedgeley bypass, but the authorites never do anything. Indeed the bypass was recently resurfaced without extra drainage installed. Surely we have to put the cost of these works against the loss to business as and when floods occur.

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  • Takeaway22  |  November 22 2012, 9:43AM

    Why do some drivers drive into clearly flooded roads?

  • Matt1006  |  November 22 2012, 8:11AM

    "unprecedented downpour" - so worse than June / July 2007 then? Re. drains - yes, on the Gloucester Road in Cheltenham, immediately outside Travis Perkins. Was flooded at 9am Wednesday morning. It floods there every time there is any reasonable amount of rain. Has done so for years. There are several large road gullies, so either they are continuously blocked, or the actual drainage system isn't up to the job. I know of numerous other locations around Cheltenham (often at junctions) that flood every time it rains, so suspect (expect?) they were flooded yesterday, and will be again later today. It's worse at this time of year due to the leaves dropping, but there are locations that flood regular as clockwork throughout the year - you can't blame leaf blockages for floods in high summer.

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  • chalkey67  |  November 22 2012, 7:53AM

    Hands up all those that have seen the same blocked drains for the last year.

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  • tombardier  |  November 22 2012, 7:40AM

    "unprecedented" - really? I think not!

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