Adjoining Flood Maps and one of the City
Most of the roads in
the area of the Frome Valley are threatened with flooding and may be
effectively closed to traffic. I wouldn't have thought that the A36
viaduct at Waterhouse (shown on the Conkwell/Winsley map) would be
threatened though, unless the piers could be undermined. Apparently this
is actually happening as the A36 road is to be closed to all traffic to
allow for work on the viaduct (due to start 31st March 2008)
The affect of
flooding is extensive. Every road that crosses the rivers Frome, Midford
Brook and Avon can be affected. The bridge at Bradford on Avon can be
closed, coupled with flooding at Staverton Mill the area south of the Avon
can be isolated from the north of the Avon and traffic from the M4 and A4
would need to be diverted, if they know about it, to the A350 into
Trowbridge or to the A46 into Bath.
This might not seem
too important as such flooding is still infrequent - every three years?
But, getting someone to a hospital becomes more and more problematic,
especially when so many local hospitals are closed
or threatened with closure. Obviously, many people will be unable
to go to work or get home from work, without a time consuming detour
A few years ago a
fire engine was washed off the road by flood water at Freshford. Given
that the engine weighed 13 tons or so it provides a graphic example of the
power of the flood water and this was in the flood plain not in the narrow
confines of the river bank! and as it could not arrive at its destination
in time there could have been loss of life.
The army had to come from
Warminster to extricate the fire engine from the ditch it was lodged in.
Copies of newspaper photographs of this flood are included in the Parish
Council Comments document.
I used my camcorder
to record the event which was shown on HTV news. Unfortunately, they have
lost the tape, so I am unable to provide a video clip here. It is most
unusual to see the rescuers being rescued!