Flood warnings

October 25, 2011 by staff 

Flood warnings, Strong winds and torrential rain battered the Westcountry – leaving many areas flooded, property damaged and uprooted trees across the region.

Homeowners and businesses in Cornwall – which bore the brunt of the bad weather – were once again consider the cost of severe floods, storms hit yesterday, while parts of Devon also took a beating.

Emergency lines were red hot as the storm passed by heavy rains in the region yesterday with more than 300 calls reporting downed trees, surface water and blocked drains in the afternoon.

Flood warnings remained in place at 14 points last night – as all the rivers of Cornwall – and communities are prepared for more problems during the night after forecasters predicted a month’s rainfall in one day .

In the worst affected areas, the typical mid-October rainfall – more than 50 mm (2 inches) – was recorded in a season six hours.

The center of Mevagissey – which was visited by Prince Charles and David Cameron after hundreds of homes and businesses were damaged in last November – was again under the water while Trewoon, near St Austell.

Fire crews pumped water from a house and a bar and cars were stuck in the parking lot by a flood that caught many residents ignored.

One of the victims of the devastation of 2010, the Ship Inn, was forced again to close, the loss of hundreds of kilos of trade in mid-term holiday, when the bar was within 10 inches of water.

Patron Kim Barker, said that staff had been “wading through the water” when trying to clean up in time for the night.

“When I entered my heart sank and I thought ‘oh no, not again”, but luckily not as bad as last time, “he said.

“It is lucky it did not happen overnight so we were able to rescue a pair of movable and values.

“We were given warnings by the middle of the week and prepared sandbags, but not today.”

Cornwall Council said that 50 teams totaling about 100 workers had been responding to incidents during the day and staff will remain on alert throughout the night.

The authority said his neighborhood computer services received 326 calls in eight hours, 166 of them related to flooding and blocked drains.

“Council staff have been working with other agencies to help residents in the affected areas, including Mevagissey, Roche and Bugle,” the spokesman added.

Cornwall Fire and Rescue was on standby throughout the day, with teams receiving calls from 10 incidents, including reports of flooded properties in Mevagissey and Roche.

In Devon, Torquay seafront was closed to traffic, and Torre Abbey in Torbay Road also closed.

About four miles of traffic queues were reported along a stretch of the A30 westbound – between the A377 Alphington Junction Exeter and Okehampton B3260 – due to surface water.

Drivers also faced flooding and surface water on the A38 at Liskeard around the junction between the A390 and A389 junction B3266 Wadebridge and Camelford union.

Strong winds and high tides in the south of Devon increased the risk of localized flooding in coastal areas.

The doors were closed tidal waterways in Beesands in South Devon, Sutton Harbour in Plymouth, Polperro in South East Cornwall, and Copperhouse in Hayle, West Cornwall.

The Environment Agency issued flood warnings on rivers Tamar, Fal, Fowey, St Austell and Par, and predicted a greater than 50 mm (2 inches) falling in West Devon by 20:00 last night.

The agency warned that rain was particularly heavy and persistent in Cornwall could cause rivers to overflow. He said that the Lost Gardens of Heligan, in Cornwall, was at 50 mm (2 inches) of rain in just six hours.

A spokesman said the storm had been “intense” but that the floods had been due to surface water rather than rivers and floods that damage to the property had been “better than expected” at the beginning of the day.

However, in a statement last night, urged people to protect themselves and their property and “remain vigilant” throughout the night. A spokesman added: “There has been very high rainfall in Bodmin, Newquay and St Austell, but nothing as bad as last year – have issued warnings of flooding, but no warnings.”

The Met Office had warned some areas of Devon and Cornwall could be as many as 150 mm (5.9 inches) of rain yesterday.

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