Staffordshire flooding: Downpours cause chaos for motorists
ROADS were closed and trains cancelled as torrential rainstorms battered the region in a weekend of misery for commuters.
Several homes were also flooded and emergency services stretched as motorists became stranded on roads submerged by water.
Paramedics and fire crews were called to rescue 11 cars which had been driven into impassable flooded roads and at least 20 houses were badly flooded.
The A34 at Meaford, near Stone, was closed in both directions yesterday morning after water completely submerged the road.
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Heavy rain throughout Saturday and into Sunday saw roads behind the George and Dragon pub, in Meaford, swallowed by 5ft floods, with the tip of a bus shelter barely visible.
Elsewhere, Blackbrook Zoological Park, at Winkhill, near Leek, was forced to close to visitors after grounds flooded.
Two women and two horses had to be rescued by fire crews after their horsebox was stuck in floodwater in Gayton, near Stafford.
Other main roads badly affected by flooding included the A50 at Longton; Reginald Mitchell Way at Kidsgrove; the A53 Leek New Road at Stockton Brook; the A525 Keele Road in Madeley; A34 Newcastle Road at Talke and the A523 Ashbourne Road at Bradnop.
The Environment Agency issued a fresh round of flood warnings, including the River Tean at Upper Tean, Lower Tean and Checkley, the River Churnet and the River Dove, as further rain was expected today.
Student Josh Cope, aged 22, from Chestnut Grove, Stone, saw the flooding on the A34 at the Darlaston roundabout.
He said: "The road was totally covered and a car was stuck in the water.
"The police blocked it off and everybody was coming through the back roads to get to Stone. It caused a lot of disruption.
"I've never known it to flood there before."
Flooding near Stone and Uttoxeter caused disruption to train services run by London Midland, Virgin, East Midlands and Cross Country Trains.
Buses replaced trains between Crewe and Stafford via Stoke-on-Trent, and between Stoke-on-Trent and Derby.
Passengers travelling to Stockport and Manchester from Stoke had to travel via Stafford, and some services were diverted via Crewe and did not call at Stoke-on-Trent station.
Passengers whose trains were running faced long delays.
West Midlands Ambulance Service warned drivers not to try to negotiate flooded roads after receiving a high number of calls.
General Manager Nathan Hudson said: "We were called out to several incidents where cars tried to pass through flooded roads, fords, and small rivers and got stuck.
"The occupants became trapped in their vehicles and the emergency services had to risk difficult and often dangerous conditions in the middle of the night to come and rescue them."
Staffordshire Fire and Rescue Service confirmed it had a number of flood-related calls.
A spokesman said: "We have attended about 20 flooded properties, 11 cars in water and two calls to animals in water.
"We have also had a number of calls where we have given been able to just give advice or put people in touch with someone who can help them."