Storms hit Devon

PUBLISHED: 13:18 10 March 2008 | UPDATED: 10:27 17 June 2010

Pebbles covered the esplanade at Sidmouth on Monday morning after the storm. Ref: P8107-11-08TI Photo: Terry Ife

Pebbles covered the esplanade at Sidmouth on Monday morning after the storm. Ref: P8107-11-08TI Photo: Terry Ife

Overnight the anticipated band of heavy rain and very strong winds crossed Devon in the early hours causing widespread incidents throughout the county, mainly of trees being felled. Some flooding occurred but the event so far has not been as bad as feared

Overnight the anticipated band of heavy rain and very strong winds crossed Devon in the early hours causing widespread incidents throughout the county, mainly of trees being felled. Some flooding occurred but the event so far has not been as bad as feared, according to Devon County Council.

The council put additional staff and teams of highways and drainage crews on emergency stand-by on Sunday afternoon, so they were ready to react to incidents during the early hours of the morning. About 50 staff were involved in the preparation for and response to the predicted storm conditions.

The councilhas played a strategic role as the main point of contact for the district councils to free them to prepare for the storms and react to incidents in their areas. It has also worked in liaison with several other agencies including Devon & Cornwall Constabulary, the Environment Agency and HM Coastguard.

The first report of flooding incidents and fallen trees was received at 2am by the Highways Operations Control Centre and a crew from SWH Ltd was despatched to Bickleigh to deal with it.

As at 10am this morning, the council had reports of:

73 incidents relating to trees, branches etc

33 incidents relating to flooding (some coastal, much from the heavy rain overnight)

The most significant ongoing incident is Hulham Road in Exmouth where a large tree has fallen across the road and because of its size, specialist tree surgeons are required to remove it - this is likely to be ongoing for most of the day.

Some primary roads have been closed for periods where trees have fallen and County Council staff and South West Highways gangs continue to work to clear the problems presented by the weather.

The Taw bridge on the recently-opened Barnstaple Western Bypass was closed to high-sided vehicles overnight as a precaution but these restrictions have now been lifted. The situation will continue to be carefully monitored for the rest of the day and further closures may be required.

Outlook

This morning has seen a lull in the strong winds but further severe weather is expected later on today, particularly in the South and West of the county. Crews remain on stand-by to deal with further incidents as they occur throughout the day.

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