Fears of Malmesbury flooding as water levels rise

Malmesbury residents fear a repeat of scenes like this in 2012 when the town centre was flooded

Malmesbury residents fear a repeat of scenes like this in 2012 when the town centre was flooded

First published in News
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Flooding fears continue to plague residents in Malmesbury as the sandbags and metal flood gates were put up again at the weekend to protect previously damaged homes.

With no sign of the wet and windy spells coming to an end, residents near to the river live with tressle tables in their hallways, sandbags in back gardens and a constant fear that each new storm could bring a repeat of Christmas Eve flooding.

Pat Ponting, whose home in St John’s Street was damaged badly in November 2012 and again on December 24, slept downstairs on Friday night and was nervously watching the river levels rising against an Avon Mills property to gauge the threat.

“I have never known anything like it,” she said.

“It’s depressing when it just keeps raining all the time.

“You do get very worried because you just never know how bad it is going to get.”

Mrs Ponting, who has lived in the house for 43 years and has been flooded three times, assesses the flood risk by how many steps to another property disappear under the water to the rear of her home.

When two or three are under water Mrs Ponting begins to get worried.

“It has been going on since Christmas," she said.

“When it floods the water comes from everywhere and congregates in the archway. All the area to the front is like a little sea.”

A resident living at another of the almshouses near to St John’s Bridge has been re-homed within Malmesbury after the home was flooded at Christmas Eve, sparking memories of the devastation of November 2012 when some families had to live away for several months.

Another resident who also had the metal flood gates up at her door, but did not want to be named, praised the work of the warden and freeman for helping to protect the properties and residents.

“Some of them were up all night on Thursday watching the river levels,” the St John’s Street resident said.

“I think they have done a fantastic job so far.

“It’s just unfortunate that the water gets everywhere and there’s nothing you can do about it.

“I haven’t been here long; the flooding doesn’t put me off but if I was flooded year after year I wouldn’t want to hang on.

“I am not always around so my son comes over for me but he has a busy job so he doesn’t always want his mum on the phone asking him to check the cottage in case it has flooded.”

A resident living at another of the almshouses near to St John’s Bridge has been rehomed within Malmesbury after the home was flooded at Christmas Eve, sparking memories of the devastation of November 2012 when some families had to live away for several months.

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