Major incident declared in Somerset as torrential rain brings flooding

·3-min read
Flooding in Somerset  (PA)
Flooding in Somerset (PA)

A major incident has been declared in Somerset after the county was hit by severe flooding.

The Met Office also issued a yellow warning after heavy rain, thunderstorms and hail disrupted travel in the area and the forecaster also warned of potential damage caused to buildings by lightning strikes.

Devon and Somerset Fire and Rescue said: “A major incident was declared regarding flooding in the Galhampton, North Cadbury, and South Cadbury Areas.”

It said it had deployed “resources” to the area and warned drivers to avoid driving through floodwater and advised anyone who came into contact with floodwater to “take necessary steps to decontaminate yourself and clothing appropriately”.

Somerset flooding (PA)
Somerset flooding (PA)

The Met Office has issued a yellow warning with heavy showers and thunderstorms expected to develop through Wednesday afternoon.

The bad weather is expected across central and eastern areas of Scotland, parts of central, eastern and southeastern England and southern areas of Northern Ireland – before the weather eases during the evening.

Some 25-30 millimetres of rain are predicted to fall within two to three hours in areas where heavy rain develops.

The yellow warning is in place between until 8pm and follows an onslaught of rain, thunder and hail across parts of England on Tuesday.

Basingstoke was battered by hailstorms – with one resident describing his worry over the storm damaging his car – while Somerset experienced a “different scale” of rain.

George Dibley, who lives in Basingstoke and works in public affairs, said: “It was crazy to see and hear. It sounded like someone was knocking on our window.”

The 24-year-old added: “We got worried at one point that if the hail got any bigger it might damage our car but thankfully it only lasted a few minutes.”

Meanwhile, a stream flooded a garden in Somerset after heavy rain.

Valeria Coots, from Bathealton, posted videos on Twitter and told PA: “The stream breaks its banks quite regularly after prolonged heavy rain, usually a couple of times per year.

“Today has been on a different scale, though, really unbelievable. The stream rose about a foot above the level of the garden and whole parts either side were completely submerged.”

Also in Somerset, Eleanor Wicks said she had to find a way around a flooded footbridge in Bruton.

The 16-year-old from Frome said: “It was very shocking because it had been raining for about three solid hours and we had to try to find a way around it, through a flooded footbridge.

“Our car was on the other side so we had to go all the way around, over a flooded footpath bridge and through another bit of flood to get to the car.”

According to the Met Office, there will be some sunshine on Thursday, with rain, hail and thunder breaking out before the weather is “widely settled” from Friday through to Sunday.