A WOMAN has described the ‘frightening’ moment a river burst and flowed into her garden following heavy rain.

It came after Dorset was hit by heavy rainfall on Monday evening.

Sturminster Newton resident Anna Vining, aged 41, was inside her home when she heard ‘a loud cracking noise’ after 8pm.

She explained that a small leg of the River Stour flows through her garden, with a bridge that runs over the small stream and connects to another garden.

Mrs Vining recalled it was ‘raining but only a little bit’ and was left stunned by the sight of seeing a large volume of water flow through her garden.

Dorset Echo: The River Stour, which normally flows through her garden, suddenly experienced high river levels in a freak event. Picture: Anna ViningThe River Stour, which normally flows through her garden, suddenly experienced high river levels in a freak event. Picture: Anna Vining

Mrs Vining said: “I thought it was something next door. Then I could hear the rushing sound of river.

“There is a small leg of the River Stour running through our garden normally. I thought the sound odd as we only had a little rain fall that evening.

“I went to look outside and saw masses of water through our garden and my bridge destroyed.

"The water was gushing down. To see something like that, we were quite shocked."

“The smell was disgusting just like drains. I saw pieces of wood drifting away.”

Video taken at its peak shows the wooden bridge has been damaged by the fast river stream and water had entered her garden and covered footpaths.

Dorset Echo: She captured the heavy stream on videoShe captured the heavy stream on video

A shocked Mrs Vining called her husband Marcus, aged 51, as the water ‘rose to the steps’, in what she described as a ‘frightening sight’.

“I rang my husband telling him what had happened,” she said.

“He sounded bewildered as there was only little rain in Sturminster that evening. He got home and was shocked.

“Later he said that all the pieces of wood that was carried by river stopped at our bridge and it gave away because of the sheer amount of water.

“That was the cracking sound I had heard earlier. The wood looked like someone cut it off maybe for firewood or just some off cuts from someone's garden and stacked by the river upwards from our home.”

The river levels have since decreased to a manageable level.

Dorset Echo: River levels have since decreased - but the damage is clear. Picture: Anna ViningRiver levels have since decreased - but the damage is clear. Picture: Anna Vining

Mrs Vining said: "Sometimes it does flood every now and then but only if it’s heavy rain.

"When we came back from holiday a few years ago, there was some damage to our bridge and garden, but that was when there was loads of flooding elsewhere in Sturminster Newton.

"But something like that with a bit of rain was crazy.”

She added: “We were just greatly saddened because my husband works so hard in the garden and now the banks are destroyed and our plants drifted away or broken.

“To be honest, we have never seen it like this especially when the rainfall wasn't hard in Sturminster but maybe it was raining hard elsewhere?”

The flash flooding comes as areas along the Dorset-Somerset border were hit by heavy rain and sparked call-outs from emergency services and Dorset firefighters.

Dorset Echo: The bridge was also damagedThe bridge was also damaged

At 6.11pm on Monday evening, crews from Beaminster and Crewkerne fire stations were called to Clapton, Somerset, after receiving reports of a person stuck on the roof of their vehicle, as well as people stuck in tents on a campsite.

Beaminster Fire Station was called to assist Bridport Fire Station with removing water from a property that had flooded in Mosterton.

Flood alerts have been issued for areas in North Dorset, including Sherborne, and West Dorset, including Broadwindsor, after a night of heavy rainfall.

River levels in south east Somerset are rising and, consequently, flooding of roads and farmland in Sherborne is possible later on this evening and tonight.

  • Do you have any stories for me to investigate? Email me at michael.taylor@newsquest.co.uk