Photos and video: North Devon flooded by storm surge

A coastal surge flooded Marine Parade and caused a wall to collapse in Instow. A coastal surge flooded Marine Parade and caused a wall to collapse in Instow.

Friday, January 3, 2014
9:17 AM

Roads closed and areas completely flooded as huge waves and high tides hit the region alongside gale force winds.

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High tides caused flooding in Barnstaple Square earlier this morning.High tides caused flooding in Barnstaple Square earlier this morning.

Update 3.25pm: Flood warnings downgraded across North Devon tonight - click here for more information.

Update 2.30pm: The number 21 Stagecoach bus is currently not serving Instow Quay or the seafront due to a road closure at Marine Parade and the collapse of the sea wall. The number 70 Stagecoach bus service is currently not serving Weare Gifford due to flooding.

Update 2.10pm: First Great Western has reported heavy rain and high winds disrupting South West services. Delays of around 30 minutes are expected due to flooding on the Exeter - Barnstaple Tarka Line.

Update 12.15pm: Heavy rainfall battered Westward Ho! pebble ridge - click here to see the photographs. Mean while in Ilfracombe, van drivers risk their lives watching stormy seas - full story here.

Pilton Park was completely submerged this morning. Pic: James Rattue.Pilton Park was completely submerged this morning. Pic: James Rattue.

Update 11.55am: A spokesman for the Maritime and Coastguard Agency has urged people near the coast to take extra care in the wake of the Met Office warning of strong winds, high tides and heavy rain.

“In some parts of the country, conditions on the sea and along the coast are likely to be extremely treacherous,” they said.

“HM Coastguard’s advice is simple; don’t take risks. But if you do get into difficulty, or spot someone who might be in trouble, call 999 and ask for the Coastguard.”

Update 11.40am: The Met Office has issued a weather warning from 11.30am today (Fri) until midnight for rain.

Roads affected by flooding

• A361 Braunton Road Barnstaple, both ways between Chaddiford Lane and Heanton Hill Lane

• A361 Braunton, both ways between Wrafton Road and Chaddiford Lane

• B3233 Westleigh, both ways between A386 and New Road

• Wilder Road Ilfracombe, both ways between Brookdale Avenue and Promenade

• The Strand Barnstaple, both ways at A3125 Long Bridge

The warning joins the one already in place across the region for gale force winds today.

A spokesman for the Met Office said: “A deeply unstable air mass covers the UK with bands of heavy showers and thunderstorms moving north-eastwards, particularly affecting southern parts of England and southern and western Wales.

“The showers could produce 5-10 mm of rain within an hour.”

Hail is also expected as North Devon recovers from the flooding this morning due to high spring tides and a storm surge.

Pumps and sandbags helped keep flood water at bay outside DI Elliott butchers in Bishops Tawton this morning.Pumps and sandbags helped keep flood water at bay outside DI Elliott butchers in Bishops Tawton this morning.

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A STORM surge has battered North Devon overnight, leaving many roads closed and areas flooded.

Pilton Park in Barnstaple was completely submerged this morning, and the Square was closed due to flooding on the road. It has now re-opened.

In Instow, the water was nearing the edge of the flood barriers and Marine Parade has been closed due to the flood water. A wall collapsed due to the force of water battering the seafront in the early hours.

The flooding in Lynmouth this morning. Pic by Hugh Johnson.The flooding in Lynmouth this morning. Pic by Hugh Johnson.

Devon County Councillor Frank Biederman said flood water in Instow had risen to just six inches below the top of the flood barrier on this morning’s high tide.

“There are concerns that because of the collapse of the wall, tonight’s high tide could cause a rush of water to breach the barrier,” he said.

“The road will remain closed throughout the day and highways teams will be monitoring the situation.”

Lynmouth was hit by a deluge of water which flooded the entire seafront at high tide this morning.

The B3233 at Wesleigh is closed due to flooding.The B3233 at Wesleigh is closed due to flooding.

High tide yesterday evening saw the River Taw creeping up Castle Quay, almost marooning several cars parked there.

Huge waves also battered coastal areas such as Westward Ho! and Appledore.

Alice Holman sent the Gazette photos of the flooding in Appledore, and said: “The waves reached double the height of the wire seen in the below picture, the spray was up to roof level.

“The sea was pouring over the defence wall as a neighbour enquired what time high tide was as he had to get to work at the ship yard.

“These pictures at dawn are after high tide and show the river as being relatively calm but half an hour earlier the water was strong enough to completely flood the road and come in the front door, there is spray up the wall in the entranceway, high enough to reach the electric meters about 10 foot up.”

The pumps were on this morning at DI Elliott butchers in Bishops Tawton – less than a week before the shop was due to reopen after being hit by floods in December 2012.

Grace Elliott said water had come up through the drains on this morning’s high tide although thankfully, the pumps had kept flood water at bay.

“We’ll be keeping a close watch on the situation during the next high tide later this evening. Touch wood we’ll be OK,” he said.

There is also reported flooding this morning along the A361 between Barnstaple and Braunton.

The Environment Agency has issued a ‘severe’ warning for North Devon coastal areas – the first in the region since 2008. A Met Office ‘yellow’ weather warning remains in place today with gale force winds expected across the region.

Keep checking back for more as we have it.

To see more photos of the flooding, click the gallery on the right hand side of the page. Send your flooding photos to sarah.howells@archant.co.uk.

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