Sudden storms like bolt from the blue batter west Wiltshire
A Dursley Road resident watches the flood waters rise outside his home on Saturday. Picture by Glenn Phillips
Flash floods caused by a severe storm that battered west Wiltshire on Saturday left dozens of families stranded, as the water came within inches of their homes.
Amateur weatherman Geoff Witts, of Steeple Ashton, said there was 35mm of rain between Friday night and Saturday morning, with another 8.5mm between 9am and 12pm.
Trowbridge firefighters were called to flooding in Lambrok Road, St John’s Crescent, Kitchener’s Court, Sycamore Grove, Wyke Road, the Town Park and Dursley Road, which was one of the worst hit areas of the town.
The rain forced some residents there to evacuate their homes.
The water receded before entering many homes, but Joyce Cook, whose house is down an alleyway just off the road, was less fortunate.
She said: “I went into my kitchen around 10am and there was water trickling into the kitchen from the back door.
"It got worse and worse and started coming in from the front door. It was almost a foot deep.
“I’m at the lowest point in the street, but I have lived here for 29 years and I have never had anything like this happen before. It all happened so quickly, I couldn’t believe what I was seeing.
“All of my carpet has had to be ripped up and a lot of my electrical appliances are damaged beyond repair.”
Residents praised an off-duty special constable who helped prevent traffic travelling along the road, with an employee for Wiltshire Council’s highways contractor Balfour Beatty blocking the road with his vehicle.
Fiona Powell, who has lived in her house with daughter Layla, 17, for 12 years, said: “We had stupid drivers like one guy in a 4x4 still trying to drive along, which was creating waves.
"Some of us ended up going out in the road to stop them from driving through.”
Families in Dursley Road were given sandbags by Wiltshire Council, after more rain in the afternoon caused the water to rise again.
Russ Burgess, who has lived in the road for 30 years, said: “It didn’t go into our property but it was lapping up against the steps and it was threatening to come in because people were still trying to drive along the road.
“We managed to go out at 11.30am but there was another downpour around lunchtime and when I got back I had to take my shoes and socks off and wade through the water to get to the house.”
Staff at used car dealer Langmans in River Way, Trowbridge, spent Saturday afternoon mopping up after rainwater flooded the forecourt and showroom.
Salesman Andy Newing, said: “The cars were fine apart from needing a clean but the carpet in the offices does smell. Richard Langman said in 22 years he has never seen it flood before.”