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Flash floods swamp Somerset

Somerset experienced torrential downpours and flash-flooding last week giving the county's emergency services their 'busiest night in living history'.

Clean-up operations are ongoing following flash-flooding in the west country on Thursday evening.

The ground remains saturated and more rain is forecast.

Devon and Somerset Fire Service fielded one 999 call every three seconds at the peak of the storm which left Crewkerne, Shepton Mallet, Ilminster, Castle Cary and Wells ravaged by flash floods.

The Met Office said 22mm of rain fell in Devon and Somerset during a three-hour period between 6pm and 9pm on the of evening 29 May.
The Mendip area of the county was the worst hit. Rivers and waterways burst their banks and drains became overloaded under pressure from three hours of non-stop showers on Thursday night.

Crewkerne residents had to be evacuated from their homes after the River Parrett and its tributaries began to breach sandbag walls and makeshift defences. South Street was submerged under several feet of water after pressure that had built up in a culvert flowing under the road caused a supporting wall to collapse.

This weekend's Sunrise Celebration music festival near Yeovil was called off due to the bad weather conditions.

Upwards of 20,000 revellers had been expected to descend on Bearley Farm for the eco-event but organisers said the event was cancelled for safety reasons after heavy rain waterlogged the ground.

A spokesman for Somerset County Council said: "The intensity of rainfall in such a short space of time was the cause of the flooding. However, effective working of drains and gullies has meant that most roads around the county have now re-opened."

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