Page last updated at 11:19 GMT, Saturday, 13 December 2008

Seaside town hit by flooded river

Flooded house in South Hill, Weymouth
Several homes in the South Hill area of Weymouth were flooded

Heavy rain has caused flooding in parts of Weymouth overnight, leaving homes, businesses and shops under water.

Dorset Fire and Rescue Service said the South Hill area became flooded after the River Wey burst its banks.

Several stores in the shopping centre and up to 20 houses were flooded. Radipole Lane was also affected and the fire service rescued six people.

John Mundy, from Damers Blinds in the centre, said his shop was under 2ft (60cm) of water when he arrived.

Mr Mundy said: "The rain's eased off and the water level has dropped considerably and now the drains are starting to clear the water.

"It's only about four or five inches left in the car park."

Heavy rain overnight also caused flash-flooding in Somerset, Devon Wiltshire and Gloucestershire.

Norman Evans, of Devon Fire and Rescue, said officers answered 300 calls overnight and in the morning, including 20 rescues from cars and two dozen reports of minor house flooding.

The Environment Agency had 68 flood warnings in place for the South West. One severe warning was in place on the River Lyd, near Lydney in Gloucestershire.

Mr Evans said conditions were set to improve in the afternoon but warned drivers that even their usual routes could be treacherous.

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