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Cheltenham, Tewkesbury, Cotswold: Unprecedented rainfall hits area overnight

By Gloucestershire Echo  |  Posted: November 22, 2012

  • DOWNPOUR: Heather Ross in Prestbury yesterday

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SCHOOLS were forced to close and journeys abandoned after more than two weeks worth of rain fell in one day.

An unprecedented downpour hit the county on Tuesday afternoon with around 30mm falling overnight.

Gloucestershire County Council teams were out clearing gullies and pumping water from the roads at hot spots around Gloucestershire.

The River Chelt strained at its banks as the waters swelled from the relentless rain.

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Gloucestershire Fire and Rescue Service responded to 38 calls from concerned residents, but most of the flooding was in gardens and on roads.

Jason Humm, area highway manager, urged people to help unblock drains and gutters.

He added: "If you're passing a drain with leaves on, kick them off or sweep them away as this will help prevent blockages, or if you see any obvious obstructions to the standing water which can easily be solved, and it is safe to do so, then please help out."

Flood waters burst over the banks of the River Chelt, swamping the children's play area in Sandford Park.

The field, off College Road, is one of the town's designated flood spill over areas, designed to protect the rest of the town.

A spokesman for the Environment Agency said it showed the system was working.

Crippetts Crossroads, by Kidnapper's Lane and Church Road in Leckhampton, was impassable to cars.

Borough councillor Andrew Chard (C, Leckhampton), said: "Gloucestershire Highways were out and about and have been cleaning up the area so it shouldn't be a problem."

Tredington Primary School, near Tewkesbury, was one of a number of schools forced to close early.

Headteacher Jane Dunwell said it was due to fears that parents would not be able to get to the school, along the country roads that lead to it, to collect their children.

She added: "It's always sad to have to close the school. It's frustrating as lessons had been planned.

"Some of the children were disappointed but we've got their safety to think of."

Homes in Woodmancote Park were also hit by the rising water.

Resident Betty Denne, said: "It is going underneath the house and it is pouring down the side."

The Environment Agency is warning residents to stay vigilant over the next few days.

Weather observer Ian Thomas said: "It will be like this tomorrow. I expect another 20 to 25mm of rain."

Trains were also affected by the heavy rain with numerous services running through Cheltenham being cancelled.

A spokesman for First Great Western said: "Due to heavy rain fall, there was localised flooding over the south west of our network.

"Once the rain stopped, Network Rail were working hard to alleviate the infrastructure problems caused."

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  • Beegeeuk  |  November 22 2012, 10:55AM

    Unprecedented??? In 2007 over 150mm (6 inches!) of rain fell in 48 hours! Unprecedented my a**!!! Where does TIG get these reporters who do not check their "facts"???

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  • GlosResident1  |  November 22 2012, 9:37AM

    I love that the Environment Agency (who tell us significant flooding in Gloucestershire is a one in 200 year event) think all the flood provisions are working so well when 3cm of rain - quoted in the article - causes all the disruption and chaos we saw yesterday. So many roads were flooded that it took 75 minutes to do a 12 minute journey home. If this is what they call working well I hate to see what working badly looks like.

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