County Council’s Highways department redeploying it resources to deal with storm damage

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Devon County Council is redeploying all of its highways teams into the clean-up operation in the wake of recent storms – with the council receiving 7,000 reports of flooding, potholes and fallen trees across the county since December 20.

The Highways Authority has reassigned all of its resources to the clean-up to inspect and restore the local salting network to the best possible state before forecast colder temperatures hit later this month.

The emergency response will enable Devon Highways to target repairs to potholes and safety defects as well as urgent drainage clearance, but several pre-planned and routine works have been suspended to make this possible.

Councillor Stuart Hughes, Devon County Council Cabinet Member for Highway Management and Flood Prevention, said: “Our highway network has again taken a battering from the volume of rainfall in recent weeks so we need to focus on repairing the damage and clearing problem drains and gullies.

“We can expect issues with water run-off for some time, which will cause problems if we have a freeze. Therefore we need to make sure our salting network is in the best possible condition.

“The budget pressures we’re facing will limit our capacity to address reported problems and improve our highway drainage network, and this needs to be discussed with Government.

“We still haven’t recovered from last year’s storms, and we’ll be dealing with the legacy for the next four years.”

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