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Floods mayhem: Dorset communities count cost as water levels fall
DEVASTATION: Furniture and valuables were destroyed at the home of David Watkins in floods at Maiden Newton
PEOPLE across the county were left counting the cost of the damage as the flood waters start to subside.
After the deluge over the weekend some communities have been clearing up as water levels fall while others are still waiting to see the extent of the damage.
Roads across the county continued to be closed yesterday after a month’s rain fell in 24 hours over the weekend.
In Church Street in Upwey flood waters had gouged out huge chunks of the road and boulders had been hurled down the road.
Residents said they had been out with wheelbarrows collecting stones and boulders to put them back so they could get their cars out of their garages.
John Huggins, the chairman of the Upwey Society, said the new footpath by the river had also been swept away.
He said the water had come up to the step of his house but it did not go further.
He said: “It was terrible. It was quite terrifying.”
Water was still pouring down the road yesterday and Mr Huggins said he was worried the flooding could happen again if Dorset had more rain.
He said: “It’s not far off at the moment, we only need a few hours of heavy rain.”
Upwey resident Jocelyn O’Driscoll said: “It’s scary.”
She added: “We are hoping it stays dry enough to drain away some of the huge amount of water.”
In Martinstown the river was still over-flowing on to the road and residents were wading through the village in wellies.
Neighbours informed Steven Clark and his family that the house they are currently doing up was at risk of flooding.
They piled sandbags up against the door and moved everything up to the second floor to keep it out of the way of possible flooding.
Mr Clark said: “We got to it in time.”
He added: “We are waiting for the water to subside and damage control really.
“We can’t do anything until we know it will go down.”
He said that as soon as it rained again the water levels would rise again as the ground was saturated.
Martinstown resident Peter Martin said he had never seen flooding as bad in the time he had lived in the village. But he added that the community was pulling together.
He said: “People are helping each other out.”
The road in Winterbourne Abbas was closed to traffic due to the flooding.
Sandy Duncan, owner of The Coach and Horses in Winterbourne Abbas said: “Thankfully the pub is fine, but most of the houses are waterlogged and some have lost everything. We have people staying in our pub as their homes are ruined.”
She added: “The community is pulling together to help all the people that have been affected and we hope that it is on the mend by Thursday when the Olympic torch passes through.”
On Sunday in Sturminster Marshall an elderly man was saved from his car by the fire service and a farmer with a tractor.
Work was continuing on a bridge that was damaged during floods at the weekend.
A spokeswoman for Dorset County Council said the Mohunf bridge in Lower Burton, near the Sun Inn, was not affected by the water, but engineers believe a car clipped it, dislodging some of the parapets.
The bridge was closed while council engineers inspected the area yesterday morning, but is safe to drive over.