Dorset woman recalls ‘spooky’ moment when river flooded her garden

A WOMAN described the “frightening” moment when a river burst and flowed into her garden after heavy rains.

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

Anna Vining, a 41-year-old resident of Sturminster Newton, was inside her home when she heard “a loud cracking” after 8pm.

She explained that a small part of the River Stour crosses her garden, with a bridge that crosses the small stream and connects to another garden.

Ms. Vining recalled that it was raining “but only a little” and was amazed at the sight of a large volume of water flowing in her garden.

The River Stour, which normally runs through his garden, suddenly experienced high river levels during an abnormal event. Photo: Anna Vining

Ms Vining said: “I thought it was something close. Then I could hear the rushing sound of the river.

“There is a small portion of the River Stour that runs through our garden normally. I found the sound strange as we only had a little rain that night.

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

“Water was gushing out. To see something like this, we were quite shocked.”

“The smell was disgusting, as were the drains. I saw pieces of wood moving away.

Video taken in its prime shows that the wooden bridge was damaged by the rapid current of the river and water entered his garden and covered paths.

Dorset Echo: she captured the big stream on videoShe captured the heavy flow on video

A shocked Ms Vining called out her 51-year-old husband Marcus as the water “rose to the steps” in what she described as a “scary sight”.

“I called my husband to tell him what had happened,” she said.

“He looked stunned as there was little rain in Sturminster that evening. He returned home and was shocked.

“Later he said that all the pieces of wood that were being carried by the river stopped at our bridge and that they gave way because of the large amount of water.

“It was the crackle I had heard earlier. The wood looked like someone chopped it maybe for firewood or just cuts from someone’s yard and stacked by the river up from our house.

River levels have since fallen to a manageable level.

Dorset Echo: River levels have since dropped, but the damage is evident.  Photo: Anna ViningRiver levels have since dropped, but the damage is evident. Photo: Anna Vining

Ms. Vining said, “Sometimes there is flooding every now and then, but only if it rains a lot.

“When we returned from vacation a few years ago our bridge and garden were damaged, but that’s when there was a lot of flooding elsewhere in Sturminster Newton.

“But something like that with a little rain was crazy.”

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

“To be honest we’ve never seen it like this, especially when the precipitation was not heavy in Sturminster but maybe it was raining hard elsewhere?”

The flash floods come as areas along the Dorset-Somerset border have been hit by heavy rains and have prompted calls from Dorset emergency services and firefighters.

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

On Monday evening at 6:11 p.m., teams from the Beaminster and Crewkerne fire stations were called to Clapton, Somerset, after receiving reports of a person trapped on the roof of their vehicle, as well as people trapped in tents on a campsite.

The Beaminster Fire Station was called in to help the Bridport Fire Station remove water from a property that had been flooded in Mosterton.

Flood warnings were issued for areas of North Dorset, including Sherborne, and West Dorset, including Broadwindsor, after overnight heavy rains.

River levels in South East Somerset are rising and as a result flooding of roads and farmland in Sherborne is possible later this evening and this evening.


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Coy Lewallen

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