Heavy rainfall causes landslip

A landslip and localised flooding has been caused by heavy rain which has pelted parts of the country.

The South West was hit by two storm fronts which has resulted in flooding across Cornwall, Devon and Somerset.

Fire crews in North Somerset spent more than six hours pumping water out of homes and two hours at the scene of a "serious" landslip which brought soil, rocks and debris down on to a country lane.

Firefighters worked with rescue teams at the landslip in Failand Lane in Portbury, near Bristol, to ensure that no-one had been trapped underneath. Last month two people were killed when a landslide engulfed their car in Beaminster, Dorset, and their bodies remained undiscovered for 10 days.

A spokesman for Avon Fire and Rescue said: "In amongst all of the flooding calls received we also had a serious event at 8.30pm last night. As a result of the heavy rains and the run-off surface water from the surrounding fields, we had some major landslips within the lane, bringing down lots of soil, rocks and other debris, including fallen trees. Crews from Pill and Bedminster fire stations attended and subsequently requested the assistance of the urban search and rescue team with search equipment in the possibility that the slide had covered anyone that might have been in the lane. Very fortunately after extensive searching the area was declared clear."

The fire service and search and rescue teams were helped by a local farmer with his tractor to clear a safe passage through the lane. "This allowed one family that were trapped in their property by the slides to get access to and from the lane," the fire service spokesman said.

Earlier on in the evening emergency services received around 80 calls after heavy rain flooded people's homes in Nailsea. The spokesman added: "It's been an extremely busy night for the service."

Northumbria Police issued warnings to drivers after thunderstorms brought flash flooding to parts of Gateshead, Newcastle, North Tyneside and South Tyneside. Surface water closed a number of roads, including part of the Central Motorway in Newcastle, at one point. The heavy rain also caused problems on the Tyne and Wear Metro system, with some services having to be suspended for part of the day.

West Yorkshire Fire Service reported a series of flood related call-outs in the afternoon after storms swept across the county. In one incident, in the Frizinghall area of Bradford, firefighters rescued one person from a property when surging floodwater rushed through a house and "took out an internal wall and surrounding pavements". And in the Mannignham area of the city flats were evacuated after floodwaters rose.

Crews were also in action again in the Todmorden area, which was badly affected by flooding earlier this summer. Later, Northumbria Police said most routes in its area had been reopened but the Swing Bridge, linking Gateshead to Newcastle near the Tyne Bridge, remained closed due to debris caused by the flash flood.