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VIDEO: Cornwall braced for more rain after weekend of floods misery and chaos

By Western Morning News  |  Posted: December 24, 2012

  • In Helston, nearly 200 residents were evacuated from their homes as river levels rose dangerously high. Resident Jodie Brown, above, is followed by her dog, Lola, swimming to safety in St John's Road. Below, a stranded car in flood-hit Helston. Bottom left, a street sign in the town says it all

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Communities in Cornwall are counting the cost of flooding following another weekend of terrible weather.

Strong winds, torrential rain and hide tides in the early hours of yesterday morning brought more chaos across the county.

Send us your pictures of the flooding to jo.wood@northcliffemedia.co.ukSee the full gallery of Cornwall flood pictures here

Towns and villages across the Duchy now face an untimely and expensive clean-up with yet more rain on the way today, tomorrow and throughout the rest of the week.

The latest deluge came after another week of relentless rain on already-saturated ground and during one of the wettest winters in living memory.

A severe flood warning remains in place – currently the only one across the country – for the River Cober in Helston, meaning lives are still at risk.

Some 200 residents were led to safety in Helston after the Cober burst its banks following heavy rainfall.

Rescue services attempted to pump water along the river to an area with a greater capacity. One resident, Angela Webster, said she was woken up at 4am by her son after police knocked on their door to say the water was coming in.

She said: "We quickly moved as much furniture as we could. I will move out but not just yet. This is still my home. It's happened before and I don't think it's over yet. The next three days are quite critical."

Flood warnings remain on the River Par, Lower and Middle and Upper Tamar, the River Hayle.

An amber weather warning issued by the Met Office in Devon remains in place as more rain is expected to fall on sodden ground today.

Cornwall Fire and Rescue Service dealt with hundreds of flooding incidents over the weekend.

Dozens of crews worked across Cornwall to deal with flooding incidents – including clearing drains, gullies and culverts, clearing fallen trees and dealing with landslips.

More than 100 properties elsewhere in the Duchy were flooded, including 40 at Millbrook and at least 10 properties at Mevagissey.

Another 200 properties were cut-off by a major landslip at Hannafore Road, West Looe.

Mud and water swept through two properties in East Looe following a landslide at nearby cliffs.

Firefighters made sure the occupants had left the property and pumped water out.

Liberal Democrat Councillor Edwina Hannaford, who represents West Looe and Lansallos, said: "I personally witnessed the landslide – the cliff just fell away into the road."

"The fire service has been pumping crystal clear spring water out of people's homes.

"There is so much water and there's nowhere for it to go. The ground is so saturated and there's nothing we can do about that."

Some 12 people, six cats and two dogs were rescued by RNLI teams in Lostwithiel on Saturday night.

Engineers planned to examine the 14th century bridge in Lostwithiel which remained closed due to flooding.

An additional 195 residents were told by police to evacuate their homes and shelter in rescue centres in the town.

Fire crews and two swift water rescue specialist appliances helped evacuate people from their homes after a number of properties in the village were flooded.

Homeless charity ShelterBox helped to offer accommodation for residents displaced by flooding.

Councillor Chris Jewels, of the town council, said: "It's absolutely dreadful. To happen less than three days before Christmas is terrible. The muddy water left behind has a terrible stench.

"The concern is that we don't know what is to come. The river levels are very high and any more rain will cause even more problems."

The annual meet of the East Cornwall Hunt at the Racehorse Inn near Launceston was called off at short notice on Saturday, as landlords Robbie and Pat Cox fought to prevent their pub being flooded.

Large amounts of surface water were reported on roads in Cornwall as the rain continued to fall.

The A39 at Perranarworthal was closed due to flooding and the B3247 between Millbrook and Kingsand was said to be impassable.

Nick Ely of the agency said: "There is nowhere in Cornwall that can really cope with the rain that's coming.

"Wherever the rain falls, the rivers will respond quickly. We have problems with 'flashy' rivers in Cornwall... where the rivers respond very rapidly with lots of run-off.

"We also have these problems with the catchments being so wet, that our bigger rivers... are also filling up and rising very rapidly."

Devon and Cornwall Police said: "This has again been a significant and challenging event and the emergency services together with partner agencies have worked hard throughout the night and will continue to do so to respond to calls from the public.

Flooding minister, Richard Benyon, said: ''It's terrible to have your home or business flooded at any time of year but for the families affected it's especially distressing for it to happen during the Christmas season.

"I would like to thank the Environment Agency and the emergency services who are working tirelessly on the ground, keeping a close watch on river levels, checking defences and clearing anything that could cause a blockage.

"It's crucial people continue to be vigilant by keeping a close eye on the Environment Agency's flood warnings and allowing the emergency services to do their work."

Properties have been flooded in Cawsand and one resident reported effluent running down the slipway after drains overflowed.

Millbrook was once again been hit by flooding, with residents and business owners waking up to find their properties were under several inches of water. Fire crews also attended incidents at St Austell, Lostwithiel, Hayle, Torpoint, Penzance, Probus, Durgan, Millbrook, St Columb and St Just.

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