Storm Ciarán causes flooding and disruption

Waves crash against Watchet seafront
Storm Ciarán batters the coastline in Watchet, Somerset

Flooding, school closures and power cuts have been experienced across Somerset and Wiltshire as Storm Ciarán hit.

An overturned caravan caused long delays on Thursday morning on the M5 southbound between J22 (Burnham) and J23 (Bridgwater).

Network Rail said heavy rain means the line between Taunton and Plymouth is to remain closed for the rest of the day and the rail line between Salisbury and Southampton is also closed.

A yellow weather warning for wind and rain was in place until 18:30 BST while 15 flood warnings remain across Somerset alongside 24 flood alerts.

View of crash on M5
A caravan overturned on the M5 causing long delays near Burnham-on-Sea

Around 200 properties in Somerset are without power - with the National Grid showing problems in Weston-super-Mare, Wedmore and Bridgwater.

All but essential work has been paused at Hinkley Point C due to the weather conditions.

A Hinkley Point C spokesperson said: "Our construction workforce will be taken off site by our bus fleet and office-based staff will continue working as normal."

The site has a daily workforce of around 10,000 people, with the large majority of them being daytime construction shift workers.

Dorset and Wiltshire Fire and Rescue Service said they have attended 17 incidents relating to the storm overnight and into Thursday morning across the two counties.

They said the majority of these involved vehicles stranded in floodwater.

The railway line at Pewsey is also closed due to floodwater on the track.

View of flooded ra line
All the train services from Somerset into Devon are cancelled until Friday morning

Somerset Council Highways say teams have responded to more than 100 incidents since Storm Ciarán hit.

They added that 30 incidents involved fallen or hazardous trees with the majority in the southern part of Somerset.

View of landslip down narrow lane
The bad weather has caused a land slide on a lane in West Chinnock, Somerset

Ian Withers, from the Environment Agency, is based at Westover pumping station.

He said that while the rivers are full, "everything is going to plan" and the pumping stations are doing everything they should.

He said: "We have a volume going through the Parrett, right now, of 162 cubic metres a second.

"That’s a huge amount of water – we’re talking six or seven times more than we expect going through the river."

Man stood in front of pumping station
Ian Withers from the Environment Agency has been monitoring water levels on the Somerset Levels

“This is the first of many typical winter storms that we expect in Somerset.

“We are as ready as we can be,” Mr Withers added.