Flooding: more bad weather to come...

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By PGStrange | Wednesday, November 21, 2012, 18:36

SOUTH WEST ENGLAND has been put on an amber warning for more bad weather for tomorrow (Thursday 22 November). There is likely to be more flooding and delays on Devon's roads, which saw many problems today across the region. The Environment Agency has also issued a flood warning for the lower River Tamar, concerning Morwellham Quay near Tavistock...

The Met Office issued the amber warning this afternoon. A spokesman said that. "A spell of wet and windy weather is expected to move west to east across many parts of the UK during Thursday. Coming so soon after the heavy rain which fell in many places on Wednesday, this is likely to provoke further issues with flooding. Additionally, winds will gust to 50 to 60 mph in many places, and even 70 mph in some exposed western areas.

"In view of the wind and rain combination, the public should be prepared for transport disruption."

In addition, the Environment Agency has issued 46 flood warnings for South West England, including one for the lower River Tamar, concerning Morwellham Quay near Tavistock. A spokesman said: "As the weather system crossed the area overnight, rainfall totals of up to 40 mm have been recorded. Levels on the River Tamar have responded to this and have exceeded flood warning criteria. The area affected is from Morwellham Quay to Cotehele Quay, including Calstock, Cotehele and North Ward Farm

Today's problems

There were numerous problems today across South Devon's roads. These included incidents in Chudleigh, Marldon, Newton Abbot area, Paignton, Stoke Gabriel, Teignmouth and Torquay.

From 2.30am onwards, Devon & Somerset Fire & Rescue Service were called to numerous incidents. By mid-morning firefighters had attended 51 incidents due to flooding. In total they received 311 calls for assistance. As well as 18 rescues from vehicles caught in floodwater, one involved two people were attempting to rescue cattle.   

"At the moment 12 live rescues from vehicles caught in flood water are taking place," said a fire spokesperson. "We are also assisting the ambulance service with a person who is a diabetic and is caught in flood water. In total at this moment in time there are 110 live incidents happening throughout Devon and Somerset.

"There are 42 pumping appliances are at present committed, with one appliance from Avon Fire & Rescue Service and three appliances from Dorset Fire & Rescue Service in assistance. Two specialist Rescue teams are also committed to incidents."

Advice to drivers

Devon & Somerset Fire & Rescue Service have issued the following advice to drivers:

  • Do not attempt to drive through flooded roads or fords. The water is often deeper than it looks and may be moving quite fast.
  • Your vehicle may be swept away or become stranded. Vehicles can float away in just 2 feet of water
  • If your vehicle stalls, leave it immediately if safe to do so and seek higher ground.   
  • Do not attempt to walk through flooded areas. Even shallow water moving fast can sweep you off your feet and there may be hidden dangers such as open drains, damaged road surfaces, submerged debris or deep channels; these can cause serious injuries or even death     
Have you got photos of today's flooding in your area?  If so, we'd love to see them on Tavistock People. Email them to: paul.strange@thelocalpeople.co.uk

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