RESIDENTS are are still clearing up today after heavy rain caused flooding across Swindon.

Many inches of rain fell during the early hours of Saturday leaving some residents with a nasty surprise as they went downstairs for breakfast.

Six houses were left sodden by the rising waters in Chatsworth Road in Abbey Meads where a brook linked to the River Ray burst its banks sending gallons of water into back gardens, garages and living rooms.

Many residents had dumped sand at back doors and there wasn't a dry towel left in the street as neighbours chipped in to help clean up.

Paul Humphrey and wife Alison were the worst affected as floodwater swept into their living room, kitchen and conservatory.

Paul, 35, said: "I had come downstairs for breakfast and looked out the window. I saw the water over the bank of the brook - I had never seen that happen before.

"Then just a few minutes later it was like a wave. It went into the conservatory and started seeping into the living room."

Paul called in relatives and friends to start moving items upstairs, but his wooden floor in the living room is ruined, as is the conservatory which has been left stained and splattered with mud.

"We just can't believe it," said Paul.

"Even with all the heavy rain earlier in the year this has never happened before. I am just glad we were able to salvage everything."

Honda worker Nathan Pegler's home had a lucky escape.

Nathan, 33, said: "We were having a lie-in when one of the neighbours banged on the door and shouted about what was going on and I could see the water coming around the house.

"I went downstairs and looked in the garden and the water level was rising quite fast so I called the fire brigade, and they told me to let the water out through my garage. When I did, it was an incredible sight.

"We got off lightly compared to others in the street, but I had been planning to convert the garage into more living space. If I had, and had opened the doors to let the water through I'd hate to imagine how much damage would have been done."

Residents and firefighters point the blame at recent council works.

They claim that council contractors were cutting down hedges and then leaving the remains in the brook creating a dam, which later burst and sent a wave of water into the homes.

Tom Broham, white watch manager at Stratton fire station said: "This is some of the worst damage I have seen in Swindon because of flooding.

"It is a real mess. Fortunately the residents have been great and mucking in to clear the mess up.

"The real shame is that it could have been avoided and the residents now need to work together and make sure it doesn't happen again."

Roads and rail hit

TWENTY-TWO millimetres of rain fell on Swindon on Saturday morning.

It doesn't sound much, but the water was enough to bring widespread disruption to the town and the towns and villages surrounding.

Others including parts of Haydon Wick and West Swindon were also badly affected.

The Swindon to Highworth road was badly affected, as were roads near the Redlands area of Wroughton, which had to be partially closed and have temporary traffic lights installed.

Wiltshire Fire and Rescue Service said it had received more than 70 emergency calls early on Saturday.

Train company First Great Western had to stop several trains into Swindon because flooding between Swindon station and Wootton Bassett made the tracks impassable.

Over the rest of the county, two people were rescued after their cars got stuck in water.

Other towns and villages were also affected by flooding, with off-duty fire officers recalled to help out.

Marooned at home

In Emmanuel Close in Haydon Wick, residents say they are sick of constant water problems.

On Saturday, gardens and drives flooded and water systems stopped working, leaving them unable to take showers, use the toilet or do the washing up.

Karen Hillier, who has lived in the road for five years, was stuck in the house with her three children Ross, 14, Emily, seven, and Eve, two.

"We couldn't use the loo so we had to go a relative's house to do that.

"But we couldn't get out of the door so the children's grandfather had to fetch them from out of the window."

Neighbour John Shailes said: "We've had problems down here for years, and it's all to do with the drains.

"They really need sorting out otherwise the situation will get worse and worse."