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Devon and Cornwall braced for further flooding from storm tides

By Western Morning News  |  Posted: October 18, 2012

  • Huge waves batter the Cobb at Lyme Regis in Dorset on a very high tide. Picture: Richard Austin

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Homeowners across Devon and Cornwall were last night bracing themselves for a second deluge in 24 hours as high tides once more threatened flooding misery.

Strong onshore winds, low pressure and high tides combined to wreak havoc across the region yesterday.

However, as the clean-up gets under way in earnest this morning, weather forecasters have offered a ray of sunshine in the form of a chance of better weather next week.

For Tony Ginn, landlord of the Ship Inn at Mevagissey for less than a week, that was cold comfort.

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"I have only been here six days and I've been flooded twice," he said.

"We thought we had got away with it on Monday night. "There were warnings but it seemed to be alright.

"Then the first thing I knew about the place being flooded was when I came downstairs in the morning and stepped into four inches of water."

Mr Ginn said thanks to an amazing effort they were able to open their doors at midday and even sell some food.

"Luckily the kitchen is upstairs," he said.

Meanwhile in neighbouring Looe, harbourmaster Jeff Penhaligon said many properties close to the sea had been flooded.

"I've been back here for seven years and it's the worst I've seen.

"We flood quite regularly with the tides but not normally as bad as this."

Mr Penhaligon said no fishing boats had gone out yesterday.

"You wouldn't want to go out in this in a small boat," he said.

Looe, Mevagissey and much of the Cornish coast, as well as North and South Devon was on flood alert last night.

The predicted storm surge also forced the temporary suspension of the Torpoint Ferry for two hours last night.

The Environment Agency yesterday had 16 flood warnings and 18 flood alerts issued for parts of Devon, Cornwall and Dorset.

A spokesman said that conditions were expected to ease up: "The worst of it will be over by Thursday."

Devon County Council said it was expecting particularly dangerous times to be between 8pm and 9pm last night and 7am to 9am this morning.

A spokesman said: "People are being urged to keep away from harbours and sea defence walls and to not leave vehicles in areas prone to risk."

The Met Office said the weather could be on the turn and "really pleasant" autumn weather was expected towards the end of the week.

A spokesman for the Exeter-based organisation said up until Saturday the weather was expected to be dry, with sunshine and temperatures in the mid-teens.

"It is going to be really pleasant autumn weather," she said.

Although it is too early to be certain, she added that there was a chance that changes to the weather brewing on the continent could mean some warm weather.

"There is the potential for some nice sunshine if cloud breaks up," she said.

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