Sarah Collings, Reporter
Saturday, July 7, 2012
Heavy rain overnight and this morning closed two of three roads into Sidmouth with both the raging rivers Sid and Otter bursting their banks and flooding scores of homes.
Parts of the Byes were submerged under several feet of water with park benches marooned as islands.
The ford was closed due to a raging torrent described as a “wall of water” by onlookers who had “never seen anything like it before”.
Both Woolbrook Road and Station Road were closed by police on Saturday morning due to flooding, leaving Sidford Road as the only passable route into town.
The fire brigade attended homes under water in Hamilton Close in Sidford to move furniture and put sand bags into place outside endangered homes in Otter Reach in Newton Poppleford
As of 2pm firefighters warned that many other homes were “on the verge” of becoming submerged and all they could do was “wait and see” and “offer advice and reassurance”.
Parts of the South West have experienced severe flooding following torrential rain.
The Met Office issued a red warning from midnight on Friday until 18:00 BST on Saturday but this has now been downgraded to amber.
A month’s worth of rain - up to 80mm - fell in the past 24 hours and more bad weather has been forecast.
The Met Office said people should prepare for flooding and take care when travelling.
Ben Johnston from EA said: “We have had up to 80mm of rainfall over Dartmoor. The areas to keep an eye on at the moment are Plymouth, South Hams and also in East Devon because the rainfall is going to hang on until well into the afternoon.”
The Environment Agency has encouraged people to check its website, Twitter feed and Facebook pages and its flood line service on 0845 9881188 can also provide advice.
It said it had mobilised teams to operate flood defences, clear any river blockages and closely monitor river levels.
It said it had contacted 142 campsites throughout Cornwall, Devon and Dorset to give advice.
Devon County Council said it was monitoring weather conditions and had “resources in place to deal with any events if necessary”.