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Westcountry flooding: Hospital wards and businesses closed

By tobymeyjes  |  Posted: August 05, 2013

Flooding outside the public toilets in Crantock

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Widespread flooding has affected large parts of the Westcountry this morning with heavy rain causing up to two feet of flooding in some areas.

A severe weather warning was delivered for the region, and other parts of the country, this morning, as Britain prepared to be battered by a sudden deluge of heavy rain.

Flooding has been particularly bad across Cornwall, with fire crews from Perranporth, Camborne, Newquay and Truro attending several incidents.

Perranporth, Crantock and Newquay on the North Cornish coast were reported to be particularly badly hit, with Newquay Community Hospital closing its minor injury department following severe rain damage, with the office and two or three treatment rooms damaged.

Ruth Pooley, modern matron, urged people to consider a wide range of alternative health services available in the meantime.

She said: “We would like to thank everyone for their patience at this time and hope to be able to update the community ASAP regarding the situation.

Pharmacies can assist with many over-the-counter remedies and advice and local GP’s will be able to provide immediate treatment and advice where appropriate.

Please remember Emergency Departments and 999 should only be used in emergency, critical or life-threatening situations.”

Kathleen Mackinnon, landlady of the Cornishman Pub in Crantock, said that water in the village was up to 24 inches deep at one point.

She said: “I left to do my shopping at the cash and carry around 8.10am, by the time I returned at 9.15am, my cellar was under four foot of water.

“It’s not the first time it’s happened. We have been flooded three times in the last year. We are quite fortunate because it was that early we have managed to get it up and running again, but we are not putting our chillers on.

“As the busiest month, to happen at this time is ridiculous. We have got three businesses in the village shut because of flooding.

“The front of the tea room must have been under two foot of water, which is beside the entrance to the public toilets.

“I assume the drains are blocked, otherwise the water would be running in to the drains.

“It’s affected something that should be running 100%, to something that’s running 50%.”

Chef Bartek Zubacz walked in on the flooding in the cellar this morning.

He said: “I came in this morning and I saw the water coming in. It was basically like a river.

“It was getting so deep we had to turn off the electric in the cellar. It’s happened a few times but this is the worst I remember.”

North Devon too has been hit by flooding with motorists reporting delays on Burdon Lane junction in Highampton and the Bovacott Lane junction in Brandis Corner due to the blockage.

Heavy rain is expected to fall in the county until 9pm.

A spokesman for the Met Office said: “Further rain will affect parts of western England, Wales, northern England and southeast Scotland through today before easing away eastwards.

“Accumulations of 20-40 mm are likely in many parts with the risk of more than 60mm over parts of southwest England.

“Rain could turn thundery at times with some intense downpours within the longer spells of rain.

“The public are advised to be aware of the risk of surface water flooding.”

The Environment Agency has issued a flood alert for rivers in west Cornwall, including Lands End, Helston, Crowlas, St Ives, Hayle, Camborne and Perranporth.

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