DEVON IS trying to mop up this evening after another 24 hours of persistent rain left more than 100 homes across the county flooded and more than 150 people evacuated. Although the rain has been easing through the day, more rain and strong winds are predicted again overnight. Consequently many areas remain on stand-by in case of more flooding. Roads in and out of Exmouth were closed last night but are currently open. Meanwhile a 6ft hole has opened up in Portland Avenue, near Rolle College...
Storms continued to lash the South West over the weekend, with Exeter taking much of the brunt of the bad weather. A young woman was crushed to death when she was hit by a falling tree in the city last night. There have been numerous road closures as well as rail disruption, with all lines from Exeter to Tiverton Parkway currently blocked. First Great Western is recommending that the public should avoid travelling.
The police are also advising against non-essential travel.
Superintendent Sarah Sharpe, of Devon and Cornwall Police, said: "We would ask people only to travel if they really have to and to stay away from swollen rivers and streams.
"Please do not walk into flood water – it is exceptionally dangerous, and don't be tempted to drive into flood water even if you think you can make it to the other side. The roads remain a risk in many areas due to surface water and flooding, abandoned vehicles, debris and fallen tree branches.
"Our message to people is to stay indoors, stay safe and be cautious.
"If you feel your property is at risk of flooding, please use the current break in the weather to take all necessary precautions to safeguard your property and prepare for potential evacuation."
The Fire Service is reporting that it's dealt with more than 500 incidents in the past 24 hours and more than 1,200 since the bad weather began five days ago. Although the rain is likely to continue this evening - with 59 flood warnings from the Environment Agency currently in place for the South West - it's hoped that better conditions may be on the way. However it is likely to be the middle of the week before the weather settles.
Woman killed by falling tree
A woman was killed in Exeter last night when she was hit by a falling tree. The incident occured at around 11.50pm off Western Way, near to the junction of Barnfield Road. The woman, 21, has yet to be formally identified. It's believed she may have been homeless. A group of homeless people had been living in tents, pitched on public land near the area. Two other men, 27 and 35, were seriously injured. The road remains closed with diversions in place.
In Exmouth, at one stage last night roads in to and out of the town were closed due to flooding, but are currently open. Rail services have been disrupted. And Portland Avenue, near the Avenues, remains closed this evening after a large 6ft deep hole was discovered.
Other incidents around the region:
Budleigh Salterton: fire service reporting that an elderly man and a car were removed to safety outside Bicton Arena, Bicton, near Budleigh Salterton
Clyst St Mary: flood warning for low-lying properties and roads in Clyst St Mary, including Frog Lane
Exeter: the River Exe has swollen badly, bursting its banks around Exeter Quay. The river is currently high, flowing fast and a flood warning is in place, including the Mill on the Exe, Eagle Cottages, Exeter Quay, Mill Road and Mill Drive at Countess Wear and riverside footpaths. Police are urging drivers to take great care if they have to travel in the area due to many patches of standing water. They have advised against non-essential travel. Rail services are severely affected. All lines from Exeter to Tiverton Parkway are currently blocked with flooding at Cowley Bridge. No trains calling at any stations between Exeter St Davids and Taunton. First Great Western say that the line will remain closed until early next week.
Exton: fire service reporting a rescue from water at Station Road, Exton
Ottery St Mary: fire service reporting rescue from water at Barrack Road
Sidmouth: fire service reporting rescue from water on B3716
Topsham: Bridge Hill closed.
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