Fighting off the floods in Westbury

Wiltshire Times: From left, Andy Hinton, Ken Oliver and Andy Beswick keep an eye on the rising stream which runs between their homes                         Photo: Glenn Phillips From left, Andy Hinton, Ken Oliver and Andy Beswick keep an eye on the rising stream which runs between their homes Photo: Glenn Phillips

Owners of two cottages near an overflowing stream in Westbury were forced to take quick action to prevent water flooding their property for the fourth time in the last month last Friday.

The cottages next to The Bell Inn in Chalford Road first encountered flooding problems on January 7 and 12, with a Westbury fire crew coming out on the first occasion to pump the water out of the buildings.

Water rose to about three or four inches in the properties and resulted in Bob Hinton, 70, who lives in number 21, moving in with his son Andy in Edington while he repaired the flooring.

However, the stream overflowed on Wednesday and again on Friday, forcing Mr Hinton and Andy Beswick, who owns number 23, to put down sandbags at the doors of the properties to avoid further flooding.

Mr Beswick, 50, said: “The first time it flooded it was about three or four inches high on the ground floor and the fire crew had to come out and pump out the water.

“We thought it would just be a one-off when it first happened, but then it happened again and then twice more this week. It’s frustrating as we were just starting to get it cleared and ready after the last time.

“The weather is certainly not helping, but we think there is something else that is causing it as it seems to happen at around 2pm. We’ve had rain overnight and it hasn’t flooded, so it can’t just be the rain.”

Mr Hinton, who works as a builder, said he had hoped to get his father back into the property around three weeks after the cottage first flooded, but it is now likely to be much longer.

He said: “I have had to rip out all the oak flooring and it has messed up all the ground electrics. The stream seems to rise so quickly and almost comes from nowhere.

“I’ve contacted the council and the Environment Agency, but neither seems to be able to help and I’ve also contacted Wessex Water as one of the locals suggested it could be something to do with their pumping station, but I haven’t heard back yet.

“It’s dispiriting as just when we thought it had been sorted it flooded again and meant we were back to square one. I know there are a number of people struggling with flooding, but some assistance would be gladly received.”

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