SANDBAGS were being piled outside the doors of properties by the Town Bridge in Malmesbury tonight as more bad weather was forecast.

Earlier today firefighters rescued four people from two properties at the bottom of St John Street after the force of water prevented the doors from opening. Some 20 properties have been affected in this area at the bottom of the town.

Residents have also been preparing for the worst on the other side of town close to the River Avon by the former Duke of York pub. Sandbags are out and drainage channels have been dug.

Flooding minister Richard Benyon has been in the town today and said that although nationally five to six hundred properties had been flooded nationally, flood defences installed since the last bad floods in 2007 have protected around 2,000 more.

Ray Sanderson, Mayor of Malmesbury, said these were the worst floods the town had seen for 70 years.