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Floods take their toll on rain-lashed county as roads are blocked

By This is Devon  |  Posted: November 18, 2010

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SEVERE weather battered Devon yesterday as parts of the county were deluged with rain.

Almost a quarter of the month's average rainfall fell in Exeter in just a few hours.

And several parts of the city were affected by flooding, while major roads were left treacherous with large amounts of surface water.

The extreme conditions prompted criticism from Exeter MP Ben Bradshaw over the Government's funding for flooding defences.

Forecasters at the Met Office's headquarters in Exeter recorded 21.8mm of rain in the city in just five hours – compared to the average monthly rainfall of 92mm.

And Dunkerswell, near Honiton, saw almost a third of its average monthly rain fall in just a few hours, with 30.8mm recorded compared to a 108.5mm average for the whole month.

Many residential areas in the city were left flooded, including Pinhoe Road in Whipton Village, which was partially blocked at the Vaughan Road junction due to flood water.

And drivers were warned to take extra care on the A30 which was badly affected by surface water.

The dual carriageway was only just passable in both directions near Honiton, around the Hedgend Road junction.

And the southbound carriageway at Daisy Mount Cross was blocked because of an accident involving one vehicle as a result of flood water on the road.

The high winds also played havoc, with power cables becoming entangled in a tree in Mid Devon.

The incident happened in Belmont Road, in Tiverton.

Firefighters were called to assist at around 6.50am yesterday.

The incident was left with Western Power engineers.

The Environment Agency issued several flood warnings for parts of Devon yesterday.

The warnings issued including the rivers Otter and Sid and around the Exmouth area.

Flood watches were also put in place for much of East Devon, including Lympstone, Honiton, Budleigh Salteron, Ottery St Mary and Sidmouth, which have proved vulnerable to flooding in the past.

The heavy rain and winds faded to be replaced with sunshine in Exeter yesterday afternoon and the threat of flooding receded.

But forecasters said the wet weather was expected to return last night.

Helen Chivers, spokeswoman for the Met Office, said: "We have seen a lot of rain but outbursts of heavy rainfall is exactly what we would expect to happen at this time of year.

"And we have had a few spells of wet and windy weather over the past couple of weeks."

Ms Chivers said forecasters predicted further downpours last night but said winds would drop off.

"We are expecting fairly heavy showers overnight again," she said.

"The rain will arrive in the early hours of the morning and carry on for the rest of the morning, although the showers will not be continuous."

Worst affected by the weather was Cornwall, with several homes and roads severely flooded.

Devon & Cornwall Police described the situation as a "major incident" and said rising river levels posed a serious danger to the public.

A spokesman said rescue efforts were being co-ordinated at police headquarters at Middlemoor.

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  • Profile image for This is Devon
    peter, Exeter  |  November 18 2010, 8:22PM

    Not a generous thought, ive been deleted on all my other generous posts & this one never happened so had to do it again.......I guess the new moderator doesnt like my views, hence why there was such a poor showing of comments yesterday

  • Profile image for This is Devon
    JBG, Exeter  |  November 18 2010, 6:01PM

    peter had such a nice generous thought that he just had to say it twice!

  • Profile image for This is Devon
    peter, Exeter  |  November 18 2010, 3:58PM

    Look out for all the idiots trying to drive through flood water & damaging their engines. What gets me is they then claim its an accident & try to claim on their car insurance. Id make them pay themselves to teach them a lesson..... Smarten up people your euroboxes arnt amphibious..........

  • Profile image for This is Devon
    peter, Exeter  |  November 18 2010, 3:44PM

    You gotta laugh at all the stupid idiots who blow their engines trying to drive through flood water. What gets me is they then claim its accidental & then claim on their car insurance. id make them pay for the repairs themselves to teach them a lesson.... Smarten up people your eurobox is not amphibious..........

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    Ian, Exeter  |  November 18 2010, 3:14PM

    Mr Bradshaw, your party done nothing to improve flood relief on our roads, so dont blame space cadets Clegg & Cameron.