Freak storm brings town to a standstill
Report by Adrian Lane

COMMUNITIES are still counting the cost of the damage caused by last week's electrical storms. Castle Cary and Bruton were deluged by torrential rain as they took the brunt of the storm. The Horse Pond Inn and the White Hart at Castle Cary were forced to close the day following the storms and a number of shops in Fore Street,Castle Cary, were flooded. The bar and restaurant areas in the Horse Pond Inn have been left without carpets which were ruined by the flood water.

Nicki Woodhall, assistant manager at the pub, said: "The water was just awash through the main street and although we tried to block the front door it came through the back and side. There was no way to stop it."

Shops in Bruton High Street were also hit by floods but the worst affected area in the town was Coombe Street, which took almost two days to reopen after being sealed off to clear earth from a mudslide. The mud from a collapsed bank not only blocked the road but washed away two cars with it. Ean Potter, aged 36, saw his car end up in a wall after being swept along the mud tide for 20 yards. He said: "It was raining so hard it was as if someone was slapping the palm of their hands against the windows. There was an almighty bang as the bank collapsed and it shook the house. The mud was coming down the road so fast that it lifted my car, but that stopped most of the mud going further down the road." Council lorries removed more than 150 tonnes of mud from Coombe Street before it could be reopened.

The rainfall is believed to be one of the most severe in Bruton since 1918 when the town experienced Britain's record level of rain.

Bruton storm May 1998 Can we have a few words Do you think it rained Day of the Triffids I feel the earth move
More mud on the road
No way through Mud on the Road Patwell Street St Marys got hit

Storm of 1998

Report reproduced with kind permission of Western Gazette / Copyright ©Western Gazette
Photos ©1998 Lee Harris

A few images from the storm of 22nd May 1998, that hit Bruton. Click on an image to enlarge

Bruton - An Ancient Somerset Town