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Storm Eleanor: Is the worst over for North Devon?

PUBLISHED: 11:52 03 January 2018 | UPDATED: 14:49 03 January 2018

When storm Eleanor hit Ilfracombe's Capstone windy corner and the harbour. Picture: George Slade

When storm Eleanor hit Ilfracombe's Capstone windy corner and the harbour. Picture: George Slade

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Storm Eleanor has shaken North Devon this morning (Wednesday) with huge waves, flooding and fallen trees. But is the worst over?

North Devon was hit with fallen trees, flooding and debris as Storm Eleanor unleashed her wrath this morning (Wednesday).

Several businesses on Westward Ho! seafront were flooded or damaged as huge waves battered the seafront before the sun rose.

In Barnstaple there was plenty of flooding debris on Castle Quay, and Pilton Park was completely underwater .

A yellow weather warning is currently still in place across North Devon unti 7pm this evening.

The Met Office has warned Storm Eleanor is now over the North Sea and while winds won’t be as strong, she has left gusts in her wake.

Fallen trees

The damage in Westward Ho! after Storm Eleanor hit. Picture: Matt Smart The damage in Westward Ho! after Storm Eleanor hit. Picture: Matt Smart

A chief forecaster said: “Gusts on Wednesday morning are expected to reach 45 to 50mph in places inland while along the coasts gusts as high as 65 mph are likely.

“Winds will slowly ease from the west through the day although a second peak in winds speeds is expected across Northern Ireland for a time during the mid to late afternoon.”

There were reports of fallen trees on several roads this morning but Devon County Council teams are working hard to clear all routes.

When storm Eleanor hit Ilfracombe's Capstone windy corner and the harbour. Picture: George Slade When storm Eleanor hit Ilfracombe's Capstone windy corner and the harbour. Picture: George Slade

Highways manager Hugh Griffith said on Twitter: “#StormEleanor still very wet and windy for your commute in this morning.

“Please allow extra journey time, keep to the high classed roads & be prepared to expect the unexpected.

“We are dealing with numerous fallen trees & flooding calls, gangs are out all over the county.”

Cold is coming

Despite the strong winds, the temperatures have been particularly mild - but this is set to change later in the week.

Martin Young, deputy chief meteorologist, said: “Over the next few days, the recent unsettled weather, brought by low pressure systems coming from the Atlantic will be replaced with more settled weather as an area of high pressure builds and moves across the UK.

“After further rain or showers on Thursday and Friday, the showers will turn increasingly wintry, initially over hills and mountains across the north, but spreading further south to affect some eastern areas as we head into the weekend.

“For many, away from eastern coasts it will turn dry and bright.

“However, it will become cold everywhere with overnight frosts becoming widespread and a strong northeasterly wind will make it feel bitterly cold in places.

“Daytime temperatures will struggle to reach 4-5°C and in some places may not rise above freezing.”

Look out for neighbours

Looking further ahead, the cold weather seems likely to persist into next week with some very cold nights expected.

Dr Thomas Waite, of Public Health England’s extreme events team, said: “When temperatures fall the number of people having illnesses such as chest infections, heart attacks and strokes goes up – as their bodies struggle to work harder in colder conditions.

“Heating homes to at least 18C, wearing several thin layers instead of fewer thicker ones and checking up on older people, young children and those with heart and lung conditions, will all help keep people well over the coming days.”

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