ROADS were closed due to flood water and some residents were given sandbags to protect homes yesterday after 50mm of rain fell across overnight across the south west.

As the deluge continued into the afternoon, Wiltshire Fire and Rescue Service was called out to reports of homes being flooded in parts of Purton, Highworth, Eldene, Wan-borough and Cricklade.

Several roads were closed due to excess water, including the B4005 at Burdrop, where several cars were stuck.

The service issued advice to those driving through areas affected by and those whose home was at risk.

Shortly after the morning rush hour, severe flooding on the Great Western railway line around the Bristol area led to delays and cancellations, with First Great Western running only one train per hour running from London to Bristol in the afternoon.

At The Pitchens, in Wroughton, residents were issued with sandbags by Swindon Council after a culvert burst.

John Newman, of Wroughton Parish Council, which reported the problem to Swindon Council, said: “It’s the culvert probably. It’s the culvert which is the responsibility of the borough council which looks like it has burst and it’s flooded through The Pitchens.

“They have got sandbags outside their properties to try and stop it leaking into their properties.”

Sue Carter, the owner of Masie Wick hairdressers, in The Pitchens, said the flood water was stopped from reaching her front door in the afternoon by some sandbags which had been donated by gasmen working nearby.

She said: “It was a bit of a shock. I cannot say I was scared, it was just a case of getting myself organised. The gasmen at the end of the road were absolutely marvellous.”

Sue said the culvert was not blocked but was simply overwhelmed by a volume of water she had not seen before in the 37 years of living in The Pitchens.

Wiltshire Police received several weather-related reports in the Swindon area, including flooding between Highworth and Hampton on the B4019, rising water threatening homes in Chelworth Road, Cricklade and 18 inches of standing water on the on A429 north of junction 17.

Parts of Liden Drive, including at the entrance to The Chalet School, were also a deluge.

Resident Pete Brown, 62, of Liden, said: “It was terrible. It was awful, in fact it was starting to get dangerous. I think we’ve got a high water table here and that’s why there’s flooding. But that’s why there’s flood lagoons in Dorcan.”

The Environment Agency warned that heavy rain and strong winds until Sunday could lead to more flooding over the next four days.

The agency said heavy rain falling on already saturated ground could lead to river flooding, and strong winds could worsen surface water flooding, as wind-blown leaves and debris block water drainage.

It is possible that up to 60 mm could fall on top of the rain that has fallen over the last few days.