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‘Danger to life’ flood warnings issued for North Devon

PUBLISHED: 17:08 31 January 2014 | UPDATED: 17:08 31 January 2014

The flooding in Instow earlier this month.

The flooding in Instow earlier this month.

Archant

Coastal areas preparing for stormy weather and spring tides to hit the region for the second time this year.

SEVERE ‘danger to life’ flood warnings have been issued for coastal areas around North Devon for the second time this year.

Last month the Environment Agency issued similar warnings for the first time since 2008 when the region was battered by huge spring tides and gale force winds.

Weather warnings are in place today (Fri) and tomorrow with heavy rainfall and high winds being forecast as a storm hits the UK.

The ‘apocalyptic’ storm is being dubbed ‘Hercules Take Two’ and storm chasers are warned to take care if braving the weather to photograph the waves.

A spokesman for the Environment Agency said: “Following the storms at the beginning of the year some coastal defences in Devon have been damaged and beach levels are low.

“Repairs are ongoing at these sites. We are advising that you remain alert in these locations for potential rapidly changing situations.

“We will be monitoring these sites during the storms to see how they respond and will enact any emergency plans as necessary.”

High water for Bideford is due at 6.19pm tonight (Fri), 6.41am and 7.06pm tomorrow and 7.27am and 7.49pm on Sunday. Barnstaple’s high tide is 20 minutes later.

North Devon Council said it had alerted parish councils of the potential impact and is urging communities in the affected areas to take action in advance.

Executive Member for Emergency Planning, Cllr Yvette Gubb, said: “Awareness is key for being prepared and knowing what to do in the event of flooding.

“I know many people have already been sandbagging and getting things in place in Lynmouth and Combe Martin. For others, please don’t wait, start preparing now to minimise any damage.

“Also, don’t be tempted to get close to the waves to watch or take photos, as you could be putting yourself and others at risk.”

The severe flood warnings cover Cheyne Beach, the Quay, The Strand and Broad Street in Ilfracombe, as well as the harbour areas in Lynmouth and Watermouth Cove and around Combe Martin Bay.

Keep checking back for more updates on the stormy weather and send your photographs to sarah.howells@archant.co.uk

For up-to-date flooding information, members of the public can call Floodline on 0845 9881188.

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