Homes in multiple villages in South West England have been evacuated after torrential rain caused flash-flooding, mudslides and landslips.
The Environment Agency has issued multiple red ‘act now’ flood warnings, with rail services also disrupted. The heavy rain swept in from the west and Devon and Somerset Fire and Rescue Service said it had been “receiving calls from people stuck in flood water”.
And then, late last night, Avon and Somerset Police announced that houses had been evacuated in a number of Somerset villages.
READ MORE: UK hit by deluge of rain and thunder with yellow weather warnings in place
In a short statement on social media, police said: “Houses have been evacuated in North Cadbury, Queen Camel and surrounding villages. Roads have been blocked by mudslides and drivers are advised to avoid flooded areas.”
Elsewhere in Somerset, firefighters from Taunton said they “assisted homeowners in Milverton who were flooded today after torrential rain”.
Val Coots, from Bathealton near Taunton, said “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.
“You can see from one of the tweets what it looks like normally. The house is much higher, so we aren’t in any danger.”
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.”
In the early hours of this morning (Wednesday, May 10) Network Rail Wessex said that “extreme rainfall” had caused a “landslip” that was blocking the railway line between Winchester and Basingstoke.
“Travel between Southampton and Basingstoke will be severely disrupted. Passengers are advised not to travel,” added Network Rail Wessex.
Basingstoke was hit by an onslaught of hail on Tuesday, with one resident describing his worry over the storm damaging his car.
George Dibley, who 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.”
The Environment Agency has issued seven ‘red’ flood warnings – which urge residents to ‘act now’ because ‘flooding is expected. The warnings remain in place this morning. Multiple ‘amber’ flood alerts – which urge residents to ‘be prepared’ because ‘flooding is possible’ – remain in place across southern England.
They cover various areas, from Norwich in the east to Cornwall in the South West.