Widespread flooding keeps fire crews busy

A fire engine responding to an emergency callWidespread flooding has led to a very busy day for firefighters throughout the Avon Fire & Rescue Service (AF&RS) area.

Between 06.30hrs and 15.00hrs, the AF&RS Control Room at Lansdown received more than 140 flood-related calls.

At least 24 people were rescued from floodwater; some from vehicles caught in up to four feet of water, and some from properties.

In some cases, crews were deployed and pumps used to either remove water from a property or garden, or to try to divert the path of water to reduce the risk of flooding.

The North Somerset area seems to have been the most affected, with multiple calls for help in Backwell, Claverham, Congresbury and in and around the Chew Magna area.

Shortly before 08.25hrs two people were rescued from a car in water in Crow Lane, Henbury.

Floodwater badly affected the ground floor of a property in Dundry. A crew from Brislington used a major pump to help try to clear some of the water, and to assist the elderly occupier, who has mobility difficulties, to the top floor of the property.

At 09.44hrs, swift water rescue technicians from Bedminster, assisted by a crew from Weston-super-Mare, helped rescue a man trapped in a BMW car in around four feet of flood water on the A368 at Bishop Sutton.

A 45-year-old woman was rescued from a Skoda car in floodwater at Backwell Common, Backwell, just after 10.00hrs.

At the same time, a crew from Chew Magna went to an address in Stowey Bottom, Bishop Sutton. They helped a lady in labour to safely leave the flood-affected property and she was then transferred safely to an ambulance and taken to the Royal United Hospital in Bath.

Bedminster crews used a raft to search a vehicle in water at Chapel Hill, Backwell. This car was submerged in water. Swift water rescue team members searched the vehicle but no people were found.

A woman was rescued from a car in flood water in St Annes Road, St Annes, Bristol.

An adult and four children were rescued from flood water at Winford Bridge, Chew Magna, and a man was rescued from a car in flood water at Pilgrims Way, Chew Stoke.

Forecasts suggest that more rain is likely tomorrow afternoon. Because the land is already saturated, it will not take too much more rain to cause fresh flooding problems and more hazards on the roads.

Avon Fire & Rescue Service is advising people to consider whether or not any journey they are planning to take tomorrow, particularly into the afternoon, is absolutely necessary.

People should monitor weather forecasts and local radio broadcasts for up-to-date travel information and, if possible, monitor the Environment Agency website for latest flood warning details.

If you are not able to work from home, or if you cannot leave work early tomorrow and avoid the later afternoon rush hour period, you should plan your journey carefully, and consider alternative routes if your usual way is blocked.

Motorists should leave plenty of room between themselves and other vehicles, and drive with great caution.

You should avoid driving through flood water if at all possible. If you do have to drive through any large puddles, you should test your brakes as soon as possible afterwards.

It is important that the roads are kept clear so that emergency services can get to those in need as quickly and safely as possible.