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UPDATE: Flood warnings issued as snow and thunderstorms strike the West

By adampostans  |  Posted: November 04, 2012

Snow in Sherborne today. Pic by @drcasio via Twitter.

Snow in Sherborne today. Pic by @drcasio via Twitter.

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Snow and torrential rain are causing havoc across the West today.

The Environment Agency has issued four flood warnings (details below in the 1.30pm update) and 19 flood alerts for the region, and several roads are already impassable.

Residents in Chew Magna, where the "red" warning was put in place at 9.10am this morning, are being advised that flooding of Winford Brook is expected and immediate action should be taken.

The A37 between Yeovil and Dorchester is closed in both directions because of heavy snow.

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Several roads in Somerset have been flooded and Wiltshire Police are warning motorists on all roads in the county to take extra care.

A spokesman said: "Heavy rain is affecting much of the county this morning. This is causing hazardous driving conditions with excessive surface spray and flooding in places.

"Drivers are reminded to take extra care and to allow extra time for their journey."

While snow and thunderstorms are causing dangerous conditions, river levels are rising in many parts of the region.

As of 9.30am, the 19 "amber" flood alerts, which indicate that people should be prepared for flooding, include:

River Chew catchment from Chew Stoke to Keynsham, Chew Stoke Stream and Winford Brook; 

Purbeck rivers and streams in the Corfe Castle and Swanage areas;

River Nadder and tributaries between Donhead St Mary and Salisbury;

Upper Stour and tributaries between Gillingham and Sturminster Newton;

Weymouth rivers and streams, the River Wey to Radipole Lake, Preston Brook and River Jordan;

West Dorset rivers and streams, the Rivers Lim, Char, Simene, Brit, Asker, Mangerton and Bride;

South East Somerset Rivers, upper reaches, the Upper River Yeo, Rivers Cam and Wriggle;

Christchurch Harbour and tidal stretches of the Lower Stour and Avon;

Mid Bristol Avon areas, Mid River Avon and tributaries including Melksham, Great Somerford, Bradford on Avon, Bathford and Semington;

Upper Bristol Avon area, Upper River Avon and tributaries including Malmesbury, Chippenham and Dauntsey;

And the Lower Avon and tributaries between Ringwood and Christchurch.

The latest information and maps of the affected areas are available on the Environment Agency's website flood warnings for the South West.

Hazardous driving conditions in Somerset have been reported within the past half hour on the A37 Kilver Street around the Charlton crossroads in Shepton Mallet and the A39 at Back Lane in Chewton Mendip, while the A371 East Somerset Way in Wells is flooded eastbound between Strawberry Way roundabout and the Rookery Lane junction.

UPDATE 1.30pm:

Three new flood warnings have been issued by the Environment Agency urging people in the Malmesbury, Keynsham, and Charmouth areas, to take action.

Wiltshire Police says the river has burst its banks in Malmesbury, making the B4042 Swindon Road impassable.

The A431 Bath Road in Kelston, near Bath, is also shut both ways near the Old Crown Inn because of flooding.

The new flood warnings are for the Tetbury Avon at Malmesbury, Wiltshire, and the River Char at Dolphins River Caravan Park in Charmouth, Dorset.

There is also one for the River Chew from Chew Stoke to Keynsham, which has been upgraded to a flood warning from a less serious flood alert earlier in the day.New flood alerts have also been issued over the past couple of hours at the following locations:

East Somerset Rivers, rivers Brue, Sheppey, Glastonbury Millstream and North and South Drains; River Biss catchment between Westbury and Trowbridge; Bristol Frome Catchment between Chipping Sodbury and Bristol Floating Harbour; River Wylye and tributaries between Norton Ferris and Wilton in Wiltshire; South Somerset rivers, upper reaches, rivers Parrett and Isle and tributaries; and the Upper Frome and tributaries between Toller Whelme and Dorchester in Dorset.

On the railways, the line at Templecombe, Somerset, has now reopened but there may still be delays of 60 minutes.

Trains between Swindon and Bath Spa are running normally again, and services are able to operate through Chippenham although these may be delayed by up to 15 minutes.

Further updates when they happen.

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