Resident, firefighters and volunteers of Malmesbury are banding together to start a major cleanup following flooding in the town this weekend.

Torrential rain caused the River Avon to flood in the early hours of Sunday morning, flooding the centre of town and at least a dozen houses.

72-year-old Patricia Poating has been staying at White Lion Park since last week after receiving flood warnings. She said: “I left on Wednesday when it was pretty dodgy, stayed over the weekend and was luckily still there on Saturday.

“The television, carpets, washing machine, everything is gone. I’ve been living here for 40 years and 14 years ago it flooded but nothing as bad as this.”

Fire station Watch Manager Chris Harvey said: “It’s pretty much a cleanup operation now. Residents are getting dehumidifiers and drying out properties and seeing what belongings have been damaged. Houses are no longer in water and it’s now the community rallying together to help.”

Firefighters rescued four people from two houses in Malmesbury after it was hit by the worst flooding in 70 years.

Tracey Tucker, 39, has lived in St John Street for 6 years and had to be walked from her house by emergency services.

She said: “It was 2.30am it started coming in, and by 5 I didn’t want to go downstairs.
“Now we’re trying to empty the cupboards but we have to wait until the electrician comes because it’s physically too dark to see anything.”

Her partner, Stuart Causer, rushed to Malmesbury from his home in Westbury after hearing the news. He said: “Everything is destroyed. I thought it was a bit wet and there might be minor flooding but not like this.

“The water was lapping the front of the Rose and Crown. They were great; they had tea and coffee and gave Tracey a blanket to warm her up.”

Sergeant Martin Alvis: “It’s looking good today, apart from the wet houses. The river has dropped considerably and roads are running safely.”

A section of the High Street was cut off by the 3ft deep water from the River Avon yesterday, and Flooding Minister Richard Benyon was in the town to see the damage caused.