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Council urges care on Devon’s coasts as strong winds and high tides likely

By Exeter Express and Echo  |  Posted: January 02, 2014

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Devon authorities are urging people to take care over the next few days as high winds, high tides and further rain is likely to cause localised flooding, especially in coastal areas tomorrow (Friday) morning.

Motorists are also being reminded to drive more slowly in the wet conditions and be considerate to other roads users and property owners.

Heavy rain and surface flooding on Devon's roads over the last few days have caused problems for neighbouring properties, says Devon County Council.

Most of the many calls taken by the Council from members of the public have concerned the speed of vehicles driving through standing water on roads, causing bow waves that have entered people's properties.

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Witnesses in Church Road, Alphington, Exeter, saw cars driving at speed sending water over garden walls some eight to ten feet high, while in Exmouth Road, Budleigh Salterton, water was sprayed over a 6 foot fence.

A Devon bank in Crapston Road, Horrabridge, was washed away due to damage caused by the swell from passing cars.

With further wet and windy weather forecast over the next few days, coupled with high tides, the authorities are urging people to take heed of the warnings.

Councillor Stuart Hughes, the Council's Cabinet Member responsible for highways maintenance and flooding, said that he's heard from a member of the public who has had his car damaged by waves washing pebbles and shingle onto the road.

He said:

"The big concern at present is the risk of coastal flooding over the next few mornings, especially tomorrow (Friday).

"This is due to combination of very high tides, a surge and very large waves. Some properties along the coast will be at risk of flooding.

"Where road users encounter standing water on the road, I urge them to please slow down. Bow waves caused by driving too fast through standing water can damage other people's property.

"And with high winds and high tides expected, I recommend not parking on Esplanades or coastal roads, and that the public stay clear of sea walls or fast flowing, swollen rivers. As dramatic as it is, the conditions can be risky and we do not want people putting themselves or others in danger."

The Council is issuing the following advice to motorists in wet weather:

• Do not drive through flood water, you do not know any unseen hazards

• Do not park or go near the sea front or exposed coastal locations that may be vulnerable to flooding or waves

• Avoid overnight travel unless absolutely essential as roads will always be more hazardous at night with less traffic and colder temperatures

• Allow additional time for your journey and reduce your speed

• Drive with care and according to the conditions

• Listen to local radio for updates on current weather conditions

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