Malmesbury survives new bout of heavy rain

This Is Wiltshire: Mary Calderbank overlooking on Christmas Eve the bridge that becomes a dam in heavy rain Mary Calderbank overlooking on Christmas Eve the bridge that becomes a dam in heavy rain

Flood-hit Malmesbury breathed a sigh of relief last night as renewed heavy rain fell without adding to its woes.

Chris Harvey, watch manager at Malmesbury Fire Station, said the town, already saturated after the Christmas Eve storms, got off lightly.

Speaking this morning, Mr Harvey said: “We were on standby through the night because of the weather warnings, and were a little apprehensive, but we didn’t get any call outs.”

Councillor Ray Sanderson, head of the town’s flood alleviation working party, had also not received any reports of new floods. “We’ve opened the sluice gates over the Christmas period, so hopefully that has taken the pressure off the river.”

Teacher Mary Calderbank, whose home was flooded on Christmas Eve, also breathed a sigh of relief that water from the nearby Norton Brook didn’t engulf her home again overnight.

“We took precautions with sandbanks outside the door and stayed up until 2.30am to 3am when the winds were wild, but we were lucky,” she said today.

Despite the adversity of having at least six inches of water in her home on Christmas Eve, Mrs Calderbank said they refused to let their festive celebrations be spoiled.

“We survived,” she said. “We didn’t sleep for 41 hours, getting the house sparkling for the family, but we didn’t let it worry us. We all had a few chuckles about it.

“You’ve just got to deal with these things as they come.

“People say move, but I love it here. We live next to a bridge that becomes a dam and turns a stream into a torrent.

”We must look to take the pressure off the stream, which in turn could help Malmesbury.”

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