FURIOUS Potterne residents are demanding that Wiltshire Council takes urgent action on protecting the village after roads were swamped and homes were damaged by flash flooding on Sunday morning.

A torrential downpour turned Coxhill Lane into a river with foot-deep water running down from fields beyond the Potterne Cricket Club and engulfing the village near Devizes.

Homes in the High Street and Duck Street were flooded by the torrent which also brought down an entire wall at The Butts. Villagers spent hours trying to clear the area of sludge left 10-inches deep as the drains were overwhelmed by the surge.

The historic Porch House in the High Street, the home of 85-year-old Margaret Mead, was flooded for the first time in almost 50 years.

Locals took up spades and brooms and buckets to try clear the mess, they were full of praise for local firefighters who just happened to be passing the flooded village and who immediately sprang to the rescue, draining the flood water and coming to the aid of Mrs Mead.

The torrent of water rushing down Coxhill Lane filled the High Street and flooded Mrs Mead’s 15th Century home at The Porch House.

“It’s the first time the water has come in the house and I’ve lived here since 1976, it was up to the skirting board,” she said.

“It just washes off the fields and I don’t know what the council can do about it, but something needs to be done.”

Fortunately, Mrs Mead was helped by firefighters Lisa Adams and Dominic Walmsley, who came to her aid to move drenched carpets and soaked furniture.

“They were absolutely wonderful, a godsend,” said Mrs Read.

“We were just passing and we saw the lady struggling with it all, so we stopped to help,” said fire officer Lisa.

She added: “We at attended at four homes in the morning already, the service was inundated with calls of flooding, all the appliances were out across the county.”

It is the fourth time in three months that the village has been flooded by heavy rain and livid residents are insisting on action from Wiltshire Council.

Resident Jill Newton said: “Whenever it really pours down water running off the fields very quickly turns Coxhill Lane into a fast-running river which then pours into the rest of the village and wrecks homes. Wiltshire Council has to take this problem much more seriously and action is needed now.

"We don’t know if it’s the drains which are the problem or if work needs to be done to somehow dam up the fields or clear the lanes of leaves and detritus, but something has to be done and done urgently, it is ludicrous that residents who pay their council taxes are left to regularly clean up the huge mess that is not of our making.”

Mrs Newton, 54, added: “We are not even in the depth of winter yet, Lord only knows what flooding may overwhelm Potterne when the rainy months come.

"People here are furious that Wiltshire Council is not pulling its finger out to mitigate a problem which has caused many residents a great deal of distress.”

Residents of Duck Street backed Mrs Newton’s call for action by the council, especially as the flooding has never been known to be so bad before.