A clean-up is under way in Barnstaple after the town was hit by flash flooding.

Flooding in Barnstaple. Picture: Jack DelveFlooding in Barnstaple. Picture: Jack Delve

Flood water built up in many parts of the town after torrential rain on Monday afternoon (August 17), with as much as 3ft of water reported in places.

Traffic came to a standstill as floodwater made key routes through town such as the Square became impassable.

Devon and Somerset Fire and Rescue Service had fielded around 60 calls for help by 4pm, and worked throughout the afternoon and into the night to respond to incidents.

Sandbags have been delivered to affected businesses around The Square via Barnstaple Town Council.

Flooding in the Square in Barnstaple. Picture: Caitlyn EbsworthyFlooding in the Square in Barnstaple. Picture: Caitlyn Ebsworthy

Barnstaple town clerk Rob Ward said the amount of rainfall was ‘almost biblical’, with standing water rising in a matter of minutes.

He said: “The water just kept coming and our neighbouring businesses got it really bad.

“We’ve been getting reports from other parts of the town where peoples homes have flooded, which is very sad.

“Now it’s all hands to the pump for the clear-up operation.”

Flooding in the Square in Barnstaple. Picture: Caitlyn EbsworthyFlooding in the Square in Barnstaple. Picture: Caitlyn Ebsworthy

Town and district councillor Ian Roome said: “It was such a heavy downpour – it came down in a matter of 10 minutes, and it meant the town came to a standstill as nobody could move anywhere.

“I worry this might be the last straw for some businesses with the damage caused on top of the Covid pandemic.”