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Sedgemoor battles flooding, fallen trees and powerful winds
COMMUNITIES in Bridgwater were urged to prepare to once again battle flooding as heavy rains and strong winds battered Sedgemoor.
Toppled trees, wrecked roofs and flooded roads conjured up bitter memories of last year's winter downpours, which caused chaos across the region.
Cannington was one of the worst hit areas during the horrendous 2012 deluge and villagers were getting anxious as flood water gathered earlier this week.
Colin Allen, chairman of Cannington Parish Council, told the Mercury: “We've been on red alert. On Monday we experienced the worst of it when the brook began overflowing.
“But the Environment Agency had carried out work to clear the brook before Christmas and this prevented the water from reaching the road. But I did hear that at one stage there was flood water by the roundabout.
“We also lost power to the village hall on Christmas Eve.
“There's a lot of anxiety in the village, especially among those unfortunate enough to have had their homes flooded in 2012.”
The village has established an emergency store of sand and sandbags and a dedicated flood team.
In other parts of Sedgemoor, Bridgwater's Eastover area was cordoned off by the emergency services after powerful winds dislodged a flat part of roofing on an old building. Police assisted the fire service in examining the roof and making sure it was safe before re-opening the road hours later.
Hamp resident Geoffrey Ridgway said the storm caused five huge fencing panels to crash down in his garden. He added: “I heard this weather is set to carry on over the next few days and I'm worried more damage is yet to come.”
Somerset County Council said it had received several reports of trees falling in high winds across Sedgemoor, with the A39 becoming partially blocked through Nether Stowey due to a fallen tree.
Overnight between December 23 and Christmas Eve, the council's Highways team responded to one incident of flooding and five fallen trees in Sedgemoor alone.
Meanwhile the Environment Agency had 41 flood alerts and 18 flood warnings in place for the South West last week. Flood alerts were issued for the lower part of the River Tone and River Parrett. A flood warning was issued for the upper part of the Parrett.
Adrian Rushworth, for the Environment Agency, said: “Rivers are very full and the ground is saturated, which means there is an increased risk of surface and river water flooding.
“Gale force, possibly even severe gale force, winds and large waves are expected.”
Somerset Waste Partnership said waste and recycling collections faced some disruption due to high winds as bins and debris blew across roads.
Western Power Distribution said 2,000 homes were left without electricity in Devon and Somerset due to the storm.
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