Severe weather warning for North Somerset including Weston
By Prue_Reid | Monday, September 24, 2012, 11:08
Batter down the hatches the weather is going to get worse.
Flooding on the housing estate at former RAF Locking at Weston-super-Mare
The tornado captured on film by Grete and David Howard earlier this month
After a night of heavy rain Bristol Airport issued the following warning on Monday morning.
It said: "All local roads are affected by heavy rain overnight.
"Bristol Airport is currently operating normally but please allow extra time for your journey and drive safely."
And most of the UK is braced for an average monthly rainfall within the next 24 hours as summer comes to an abrupt end.
Winds of up to 60mph will hit the north of England and south of Scotland while other areas could see 80mm of rain before Monday evening, say forecasters.
The Environment Agency has issued 65 flood alerts mainly in south west of England.
North Somerset Council is posting emergency closures and information on its website.
It says: "Following heavy rainfall, areas of North Somerset have been affected by localised flooding and surface water remains in some areas affecting some services and key routes across the district."
Court de Wick Primary School was closed earlier this morning but hopes to reopen later and Flax Bourton Primary School is closed but plans to reopen at 1pm.
Yeo Valley and Rural Outreach Children's Centre at Congresbury is closed.
The district council added: "Please take care when travelling in any areas where surface water remains on roads.
"Leave extra time for your journey and remember that stopping distances are affected by wet road surfaces and avoid going through deep water where possible.
"All our collection crews are out on their rounds but due to localised flooding many areas are inaccessible.
"We will endeavour to collect your recycling and waste but there may be delays, so please bear with us."
Clevedon, Nailsea and Yatton have already seen a tornado this year and severe flooding in Nailsea last month flooded homes and blocked road.
The main A370 at Backwell is passable but with big puddles.
One of the worse storms faced in North Somerset was in January 1990 when slates from a roof at the old St Brandons School for Girls crashed through a conservatory killing a pupil and injuring others.
The Met Office has issued an amber warnings advising people nationwide to be prepared for severe weather.
And heavy rain is causing major travel disruption in Devon and Cornwall and with trains to London suspended it is having a knock-on affect on regional services.
National Rail said the rain and flooding is causing disruption in south west England and South Wales.
It said: "Trains are currently unable to run between Bristol Temple Meads, Weston-super-Mare and Taunton.
"Passengers may use local buses, subject to road conditions.
"CrossCountry services between Bristol and Taunton are being diverted - no stations will be missed but journey times will be extended by up to 30 minutes."
Helen Chivers, of the Met Office, said: "Most of the UK will see between 20mm and 40mm of rain with some areas getting as much as 80mm of rain."
The Met Office said the average monthly rain fall varied across the UK but in London the September average was 49mm, for Plymouth it was 78mm, Yorkshire 74mm, Ayrshire 131mm, Londonderry 94mm and Northumberland 74mm.
"Winds of up to 60mph are expected across northern England, southern England, particularly in coastal areas, and southern Scotland," added Ms Chivers.
At a flooding meeting in Nailsea this month residents were told the storm which caused severe flooding was a 'very rare event' unlikely to happen again in the next decade.
Environment Agency spokesman Caroline Lemon said: "It was an extreme rainfall event when a lot of rain fell in a short period of time.
"Three houses did flood and there was a lot of concern but Nailsea is not in a sea or river flood plain, it was all caused by surface water."
North Somerset Council flood risk manager Doug Barker said: "I think people are concerned about two things - the amount of water that fell that day, which was significant, and if the gullies were blocked.
"I am sure there were some blocked gullies but because the rain was so intense the drains were not designed to take that much water.
"The purpose of today is to collate information and not to have a knee-jerk reaction.
"We have to look at the bigger picture and this has been a very valuable event."
Horticulturalists in all North Somerset towns battled with the elements to grow prize-winning entries for the summer shows and all agreed it was an uphill struggle.
But every cloud has a silver lining and with less than 100 days to go before Christmas Weston-based coach operator Bakers Dolphin is reporting a surge of interest from fed up holidaymakers following the worst summer weather in 100 years.
Bakers Dolphin sales and marketing director Amanda Harrington said the surge in interest reflected widespread disappointment with the washout weather.
She said: "It seems people are now looking ahead to try and make up for the miserable summer which let so many families down this year."