OWNERS battled to save their homes and a horse died after flash floods hit the region days before Christmas.

After hours of heavy rain swept across the country last week, Ellesmere Port residents were left frantically bailing out water after a brook burst its banks and water came pouring through their doors.

And commuters faced lengthy delays as trains ground to a halt between Hooton and Ellesmere Port as the heavy rain sent water cascading on to the tracks.

At just before 9.30pm on Thursday, December 20, emergency services were called to the Grange Bungalows after the banks of a small brook near Capenhurst Grange Special School on Chester Road became overwhelmed, sending water flooding into nearby homes.

Crews from Ellesmere Port Fire Station, the Environmental Protection Unit and Environment Agency spent three hours at the scene helping the owners bail the rising waters from their homes with buckets.

Watch manager Phil Barney said the owners had put sandbags around the house but the water had saturated neighbouring fields and needed pumping out.

“We were there for a couple of hours trying to protect the houses from the water which was streaming in,” said Firefighter Barney.

Firefighters attempted to protect another neighbouring house, which was unoccupied, but it is thought the waters could have caused substantial damage to the ground floor.

The eight firefighters created a temporary dam around the properties in an attempt to restrict the flow of the water, which was said to have been slowly receding by the time they left at just after midnight.

And earlier in the evening firefighters fought for two and a half hours to save a horse which had got trapped in deep mud near the Chimneys Pub in Hooton, but the horse died following the distressing incident.

People travelling between Chester, Hooton, Ellesmere Port and Liverpool faced extensive delays during the busy shopping period as trains ground to a halt due to the wide spread flooding affecting the lines.

Cheshire West and Chester Council received more than 100 calls from concerned homeowners during the weekend as heavy rain continued to hit the region.

Council workers worked through the night making hundreds of sandbags and pumping out homes in Hooton Green, Ellesmere Port, where 30 homes were in danger of being devastated due to rising flood waters.

At just before 7am on Saturday, December 22, firefighters were called to Chester High Road in Neston after reports of flooding.

When they arrived firefighters discovered water was spilling into the basement of a home causing damage as it filled the inside of the house.

Firefighters spent an hour and a half pumping out the property in an attempt to stop the rising flood waters damaging the electrics in the house.

Police are warning motorists not to travel unless their journey is essential, and firefighters are urging home owners to protect their homes against the risk of further flooding.

Commuters are being urged to check the status of their train journey before they travel.

To find out whether flooding will impact your journey, use the National Rail Enquiries real-time journey planner or call TrainTracker on 0871 200 49 50.