WILD WEATHER LATEST: Flood chaos in East Devon

17:14 07 July 2012

HEAVY rain and high winds have wreaked havoc across East Devon following an overnight deluge that led to flash flooding across the region.

The Met Office had initially issued an amber weather warning for the county before upgrading its severity in some areas to red status.

However, at lunchtime today, forecasters announced the red warning had been downgraded to an amber warning again.

A spokesperson said: “The red warning that was in force for parts of Devon and West Cornwall has now been removed as the worst of the rain here has eased, although impacts of rain that has fallen continue to be significant locally.”

“The amber warning area has now been restricted to parts of Devon, Dorset and Somerset.”

The amber-graded weather warning, which warns the public to ‘be prepared’ for imminent flooding, is in place for Dartmoor, South Devon, Exeter, East Devon, Mid Devon and North Devon until 11.59pm tonight. Plymouth and parts of Cornwall remain on a yellow-graded weather warning – the lowest warning issued by the Met Office.

All emergency services across the region have been on high alert throughout the day, with resources on standby ready to dispatch where necessary.

Devon and Cornwall Police activated their Gold Control Centre and continue to deal with weather-related incidents across the two counties.

They issued a statement earlier today which read: “Due to the large amounts of rain overnight and the severe weather warning issued by the Met Office, Devon and Cornwall Police are currently dealing with several incidents of flooding across the force area.

“At this time we have the appropriate resources in place to deal with all incidents and are working in partnership with our colleagues from the Environment Agency and the Met Office to identify the areas most at risk.

“If you have vulnerable neighbours and can safely check on their welfare please do.

“We are also appealing to drivers to avoid driving through flood water which could cause your vehicle to become trapped in flood water.”

Traffic is disrupted across the county, with surface water flooding affecting roads across the region.

East Devon is suffering from localised flooding.

The A3052 in East Devon is closed from Sidford Crossroads towards Seaton due to flooding.

The Fire Service are experiencing a high volumes of calls.

Incidents of flooding reported between 5am and 8am this morning include:

Flooding 2ft deep in Modbury, including Broad Street; A379 impassable through floodwater; several flooded properties in Poundwell, 3ft of water in the main street; people rescued from a vehicle in flood water in Harraton, Modbury

The South Pool, Beeson, Kellaton, Derby Road, Bell Cross Road (several properties), areas of Kingsbridge. A bungalow in Lucas Wood had 2-3ft of water, two adults, two children, 2 cats and 2 chickens moved to safety, advice given to other residents.

Several properties affected and people evacuated at Keaton Bridge, Ivybridge, properties also affected at Cadleigh, Ivybridge; Mill Leat Close, Yealmpton; water 1ft deep in Ivybridge Road, Ermington; Wiggaton, Ottery St Mary; Dallacombe, Blackawton; Newnham, Plympton; Priory Road, Tiverton; several properties in Yealmbridge, the main road between Salcombe and Kingsbridge.

Two vehicles in 4ft of flood water at Feniton, Honiton, one female rescued.

Flooding and 10 properties affected at Yealmpton Bridge.

Further reports of flooding from 8.30am to 9.30am at The Street, Kilmington, Axminster; Lee Mill, Ivybridge; East Allington; Exton, Exeter; Wilhay Lane, Axminster; Victoria Terrace, Ottery St Mary; Drayford, Crediton; Bickleigh, Tiverton.

Further reports of flooding at Millford Road, Sidmouth; Dalditch Lane, Budleigh Salterton; Church Street, Sidbury; Bridge Street, Tiverton; Musbury Road, Axminster; Harcombe, Sidmouth; Whitford Road, Kilmington, Axminster; Mill Street, Sidmouth.

The Service reminds people not to attempt to drive through floodwater and to only make essential journeys in poor driving conditions.

• Six inches of fast flowing water can knock you over

• Two feet of water will float your car

• Flooding can cause manhole covers to come off, leaving hidden dangers

• Don’t walk or drive through flood water

• Don’t let children play in flood water

• Don’t walk on sea defences or riverbanks

• When water levels are high be aware that bridges may be dangerous to walk or drive over

• Culverts are dangerous when flooded

• Look out for other hazards such as fallen power lines and trees

• Wash your hands thoroughly if you touch floodwater as it may be contaminated.

Train services across Devon have been disrupted following flooding on the tracks.

South West Trains, Cross Country and First Great Western warned services between Plymouth and Exeter St David’s may be delayed up to 45 minutes due to flooding on the line at Totnes.

In East Devon, South West Trains are advising passengers not to travel between Axminster and Exeter unless absolutely necessary, following a landslip at Honiton.

An hourly service will run between Honiton and Exeter St David’s. An hourly service will also run between Axminster and London Waterloo. Minibuses will transport passengers between Honiton and Axminster. Journeys are delayed by up to 60 minutes and South West Trains’ expect the disruption to continue until approximately 4.30pm.

They advised that tickets bought for travel today will be valid tomorrow (Sunday).

Bus services provided by Stagecoach are also experiencing delays due to the weather conditions.

In a statement Stagecoach said: “We are we are currently experiencing disruptions to a limited number of services due the adverse weather conditions and our 380 service is currently not operating.”

The 380 service, between Exeter-West Hill-Ottery St Mary-Honiton-Axminster, is currently out of action.

Devon and Somerset Fire and Rescue Service said they are currently experiencing a high volume of calls for flooding incidents in Devon.

A spokesperson for the Met Office said: “Further heavy showers or longer periods of rain are expected during Saturday.

“Although not all places will see the heaviest of the rain, where it does fall it is likely to lead to surface water flooding and some disruption to travel.

“There remains some uncertainty in the location of the heaviest rainfall, but at this time the southwest of England looks the most likely area to be affected.”

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