More rain on the way as Wiltshire battles with floods
8:08am Thursday 22nd November 2012 in By Jill Crooks, Devizes area senior reporter
Wiltshire is braced for more torrential rain and gale force winds today after villages were cut off as parts of north Wiltshire flooded yesterday.
Wiltshire Fire and Rescue Service received more than 60 calls to flooding at homes, businesses and stranded cars.
Roads and homes across the area were affected with the Environment Agency warning that Malmesbury, Box, Sutton Benger and parts of the north west of the county are at risk of flooding.
One householder affected was Alex Dupree who lives between Minety and Ashton Keynes.
Mrs Dupree said her house and two others are affected by flooding from a stream that runs in front of their houses.
She spoke to the Gazette as three fire engines were pumping out the watercourse yesterday afternoon. She said: “The water is about ten feet deep, it looks like a lake. We are keeping it at bay.
“We are expected to take all the run-off from Minety. The council have not dug the watercourse on the other side of the road in the eight years I have been here.”
In Alderton near Malmesbury the duck pond flooded and occupied about one third of the street. Alternative routes through Luckington and Grittleton were blocked. The road in Alderton was shut later in the day as cars got stuck in the flood.
Alderton resident Hugo Armitage, 41, had moved his car to higher ground first thing yesterday morning and had to go and collect his two children as the school bus from Luckington was unable to get into the village.
Mr Armitage, an IT consultant who has lived in Alderton for nine years, said: “This is the deepest flood water I have seen here. It’s probably about three feet deep and is about 12 feet away from our property. It’s inconvenienced me, I was due to have meetings this afternoon and had to cancel them.”
Emma Newby, another resident of Alderton, said: “The fire brigade have rescued two cars and have shut the road. There are nine people who can’t get into their homes without putting wellies on. We suffered flooding a few weeks ago when we had snow and it melted and it took days to go down. How many days will this go on for?”
Miss Newby, 35, who is a chiropractor, questioned whether the drainage system in the village was working properly as she said Back Lane was almost permanently flooded for months on end.
Police said there was 18 inches of standing water on the A429 north of Junction 17 of the M4 towards Malmesbury while the B4069 at Kington Langley was closed due to substantial flooding. Flooding also affected the main road through Sutton Benger.
Traffic on major routes was heavy as drivers were forced away from minor roads.
A fire service spokesman said: “At 2pm, we had ten fire crews and two special appliances dealing with incidents involving homes, businesses and stranded cars, as well as six officers conducting inspections to prioritise our attendance.”
Area manager Julian Parsons said: “Whilst we are very busy attending numerous incidents, we are still able to maintain an adequate level of fire cover and we ask that the public only contact us if life or property is in danger.
“If anyone does contact us, we may not automatically send a fire crew as we can only help in certain situations.
“There has to be a certain level of water before we can pump water away, and we have to be able to pump it somewhere without it having a detrimental effect elsewhere.”