LIVE UPDATES: Stormy weather batters North Devon

11:55 05 February 2014

An amber weather warning is in place across North Devon today.

An amber weather warning is in place across North Devon today.

Archant

Flood alerts and weather warnings issued for the next five days across North Devon with gale force winds and lashing rain.

Weather warnings in place across the South West this week.Weather warnings in place across the South West this week.

Update 9am (Thurs): Areas of Braunton have experienced a power cut after high winds yesterday evening.

Western Power Distribution tweeted this morning: “We are currently aware of a #powercut in the #Braunton #EX33 area. We apologise and estimate to restore supply by 10:30.”

Update 1.45pm (Weds): A flood warning has been issued by the Environment Agency has been issued for the middle River Taw.

The beach hut at Saunton was demolished on Monday. Pic: Matt Fryer Photography.The beach hut at Saunton was demolished on Monday. Pic: Matt Fryer Photography.

This covers roads and riverside locations between the Taw Bridge and Newnham Bridge including Coldridge, Chenson, Eggesford, Chawleigh, Bridge Reeve, Colleton Mills and the B3220 at Taw Bridge.

This is due to the fact river levels have risen following recent rainfall.

Lower level flood alerts are still in place for the following areas:

• Upper Torridge area including the Rivers Torridge, Waldon and Lew, including Black Torrington, Milton Damerel and Hatherleigh areas, and coastal streams in the Hartland and Clovelly areas

• Lower Torridge area including Dolton, Great Torrington, Bideford and Westward Ho! areas

• Lower Taw area and tributaries including from Newnham Bridge to Barnstaple, including Umberleigh, Chittlehampton, Swimbridge and Bishop’s Tawton areas.

• Barnstaple, Braunton, Ilfracombe and Combe Martin Area including the Rivers Caen, Bradiford Water and Yeo and coastal streams from Braunton to Combe Martin

• North Devon Coast from Hartland Point to Lynmouth, including the Taw and Torridge Estuary.

Update 12.40pm (Weds): Rockham beach at Mortehoe has been closed following a landslide.

The National Trust confirmed the landslip had seriously affected the steps onto the beach and the access has now been shut.

A post on the National Trsut North Devon blog today said: “The access has been shut as the steps are very dangerous. Please do not be tempted to use them.

“The cliffs surrounding Rockham Beach are very unstable and whilst surveying the damage to the steps I saw a huge rock fall from the cliffs onto the beach.

“The most recent damage follows last year’s storms, after which we did a fantastic repair.

“Unfortunately all this hard work has been to no avail.

“There is no obvious solution to this recent landslip to repair or reopen access but we will work closely with Devon County Council and their Public Rights of Way Officer and keep you informed. In the mean time please do not use the steps.”

Update midday (Weds): A woman has been rescued after becoming trapped in flood water on the A399 near Combe Martin this morning. The road is currently closed while fire crews pump water from the road. For the full story, click here.

Update 11.50am (Weds): A beach hut which was battered by stormy seas has been demolished on Saunton beach. To see more photos and a video, click here.

Update 11.40am (Weds): DEVON County Council staff are currently working ‘flat out’ to deal with the aftermath of the stormy weather overnight.

The council’s Highway Operations Control Centre took more than 300 calls overnight as Devon was hit by heavy rain and gusts of up to 70mph.

A tree is reported to be down on the A399 at Brayford but the road is passable with care.

The county council is also warning of the danger of potential landslips in coastal areas.

Councillor Stuart Hughes, Devon County Council Cabinet Member for Highway Management and Flood Prevention, said: “These are some of the most horrendous conditions I can remember, and the combination of heavy rain and strong winds is causing disruption across the county.

“The problems with the rail line at Dawlish have again shown how vulnerable transport links are in Devon.

“A number of roads are closed due to fallen trees and power cables and the weather is sure to have a severe impact on our already fragile network.

“People should be prepared for the risk of further disruption throughout today, and motorists are advised to stick to main roads where possible, not to drive through floodwater and not to drive through road closures.

“Our staff are working hard to deal with the damage that has been caused.”

If you spot any fallen trees, landslips or flooding, email sarah.howells@archant.co.uk.

Update 11.20am (Weds): A weather warning for wind has been upgraded by the Met Office from yellow to amber this morning.

The warning, in place from 7am until 7pm today, comes as winds of up to 70mph batter the region.

A chief forecaster for the Met Office said: “A deep depression will migrate slowly northeastwards across Ireland and into Scotland today, bringing rain and very strong winds across the area.

“A swathe of strong southwesterly winds will run east along southern counties of England this morning, with a separate area of strong winds affecting mainly northern parts of Devon and Cornwall along with South Wales this afternoon.”

NORTH Devon is preparing to take another battering with stormy weather forecast to hit the region over the next five days.

Despite a relatively calm start to the day for most, winds are picking up this evening and the Met Office has issued weather warnings lasting until Saturday.

Coastal communities have been clearing up after the weekend saw some of the biggest tides of the year but more huge waves could be on the way.

Chris Tubbs, Met Office deputy chief meteorologist, said: “We have more Atlantic depressions heading our way during the rest of the week and over the weekend.

“Heavy rain and gales sweeping in from the west later on Tuesday and for Wednesday brings the risk of further flooding in some areas and possible travel disruption.

“There is now increased confidence that much of the southern half of Britain will see further heavy rain on Thursday evening and night, and that will be quickly followed by another storm early Saturday.

“Throughout this spell of unsettled weather, everyone is advised to stay up to date with the latest Met Office forecasts and National Severe Weather Warnings and be aware that the weather may change or worsen, leading to disruption of your plans in the next few days.”

Weather warnings

The weather warnings currently in place for North Devon are:

• Today (Tuesday): Yellow weather warning for wind, with very strong winds and heavy rain predicted. Gusts of up to 80mph in the most exposed parts of the South West expected.

• Tomorrow (Wednesday): Yellow weather warning for wind throughout the whole day, with gale force winds similar to yesterday and heavy rain expected.

• Thursday and Friday: Yellow weather warning for rain from 5pm until 8am on Friday. Rain is described as ‘persistent’.

• Saturday: Yellow weather warning for rain from just after midnight until 9am on Saturday. Gale force winds are also predicted.

Flood warnings

The Environment Agency has this afternoon issued a number of flood warnings for the North Devon area.

Low level flood alerts are currently in place for the Upper Torridge; Lower Torridge; Lower Taw; Barnstaple, Braunton Ilfracombe and Combe Martin areas and North Devon coast from Hartland Point to Lynmouth.

John Curtin, head of incident management at the Environment Agency, said: “Following the wettest January on record in some places we are now set to experience successive bands of heavy rain heavy rain fall lasting into the weekend.

“With further river and coastal flooding expected this week we have teams working around the clock to protect homes and communities, and over 117,000 homes have been protected over the past three days.

“Strong winds and waves could be dangerous, and we would urge people to stay away from coastal paths and promenades, and not to drive through flood water.

“In the face of this severe weather we would also remind people that they can sign up to receive free flood warnings, check their flood risk and keep up to date with the latest situation on the Environment Agency website and on social media using #floodaware.”

Keep checking back for the latest updates, and if you spot any flooding email the news team on newsdesk@northdevongazette.co.uk.

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