Wind and rain threaten more floods in Devon and Cornwall
By Western Morning News | Wednesday, January 30, 2013, 07:31
Torrential rain across the Westcountry caused flood chaos and disruptions to travel and sporting events yesterday – with more heavy rain to come.
Flooding is expected to persist across the South West throughout the week as Met Office forecasters warn of more heavy rain and gale force winds. Weather warnings are in place from today until Friday.
Trains linking Exeter to Exmouth were suspended after rain triggered a landslip onto the line.
Up to 50mm of rain was expected in Devon by midnight last night.
Roads across North Devon were severely affected by flooding or surface water including the A39 at Barbrook, near the Ilkerton Hill junction. The A386 in Merton was partially blocked in both directions at the Clarks Lane junction also due to a landslip. Floods struck the A386 New Road in both directions in Bideford between the Torridge Hill junction and the A388 junction.
Drivers were faced with surface water on the B3226 North Road in South Molton and between the B3227 Barnstaple Street junction and the B3226 South Street junction.
Last night's Evo-Stik League Southern Premier football match between Bideford and Bedworth United was cancelled due to waterlogging.
Environment Agency chiefs last night issued 55 flood warnings and alerts across the South West – 18 in Devon, eight in Somerset and two in Cornwall, with more expected.
The most serious warnings were in Devon for the upper Exe, from Exford to Exebridge and the lower Exe, from Tiverton to Exeter. The Exeter to London Paddington railway line was also at risk.
High ground across Dartmoor and Exmoor is also likely to be affected by powerful winds and there will be disruption along the coast, as waves and spray 'overtop' defences.
The Environment Agency estimated an average of 30mm on Exmoor, and a maximum of 51mm by this morning.
Some river levels are likely to rise several hours after rain stops. Through the week levels at larger rivers including the Lower Exe and Severn, will continue to rise and there will be localised flooding.
The Environment Agency's Jeremy Bailey said more rain was on the way, and people should take precautions and be on their guard against flooding. He said: "We strongly urge people to sign up to flood warnings and keep a close eye on local weather forecasts."