PHOTOS AND VIDEO: Braunton flooding ‘worst since 1962’ as village is cut off.
Floods cut the village off after River Caen bursts its banks, and more rain is expected tonight and tomorrow.
Update 9.15pm: Caen Street is now beginning to flood again. We’ve also got reports of heavy flooding by St Brannock’s Church and some residents in Station Road have been warned they may have to evacuate.
A police spokesman said: “The River has breached again in Braunton and despite multi agency efforts the squre is now flooding again.
“Braunton School Academy has also been opened as evacuation assembly point in Braunton for residents and passing motorists.”
Update 7.30pm: North Devon District Council has opened an emergency control centre to deal with the flooding at the Civic Centre in Barnstaple.
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A spokesman for the council said: “We are working through the day and overnight to assist in any way we can.
“We are working alongside the police and other agencies to assist with supply of sandbags and to respond to other requests for assistance.
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“We are also helping to identify temporary accommodation for people who are being evacuated from their homes.
“As water subsides, we’ll be preparing plans for the clean up to come.”
Anyone who needs assistance from the council this weekend is urged to call the emergency control centre on 01271 388240.
From Monday, December 24, the customer service centre will be taking calls on 01271 388870.
Five fire appliances have also been deployed to Braunton Community College to deal with flooding there.
A Facebook group set up by local people is currently arranging a mass clean up of the area to commence at 12pm tomorrow.
For more information click the link on the right hand side of the page or visit https://www.facebook.com/BrauntonFloodAssistance?fref=ts
Update 4.25pm: Coastguard rescue teams from Croyde, Instow and Ilfracombe have been distributing sandbags and evacuating residents of house boats on the river at Velator Quay.
Coastguard officers from neighbouring teams are on standby ahead of the wet weather forecast for tonight.
The A361 Braunton Road remains closed in both directions from Pottington to Mullacott Cross.
Other roads affected by the flooding include:
• Flooding on the A399 in Bratton Fleming near the Shutscombe Hill junction.
• A399 High Street in Combe Martin is also just passable around the Bowling Green Lane junction.
• The B3231 Saunton Road in Braunton is closed in both directions between West Meadow Road junction and St Mary’s Road junction.
• The A39 Shirwell Road is just passable in Barnstaple near the B3230.
Police are advising motorists to plan journeys in advance, avoid travelling if possible and not to attempt to drive through floodwater.
Earlier this afternoon, the Environment Agency said: “River levels in the River Caen are now dropping but further heavy rainfall is forecast throughout Saturday and into Sunday morning.
“River levels will respond quickly to this rainfall and further flooding is possible.
“Heavy rainfall is also forecast for Sunday night.”
Update: 1.45pm: The water appears to be subsiding and is being pumped away by fire crews.
BRAUNTON has been cut off and shops left underwater after the River Caen broke its banks last night.
Heavy surface water began to build as the rains came overnight and residents awoke to find Caen Street and Braunton Road underwater.
The Braunton Road to Ilfracombe is closed to all traffic and buses have been cancelled. Traffic from Barnstaple is being diverted to Braunton via Blackmoor Gate.
Tony Reed, who has owned Reed’s Butchers in Braunton since 1939, said the flooding was the worst he had seen since August 1962.
He said: “The last flood was the same day in 2004, the Friday before Christmas, when Caen Street was flooded.
“We have no electricity but so far have been lucky, now we’ve just got to wait and see what happens.”
Police, fire, ambulance and the Coastguard are all on scene unloading sandbags and ensuring the safety of residents.
Shops on Caen Street are under 3-4ft of water and residents in the flats above have been stranded.
One 90-year-old woman had to be lifted from her first floor flat to safety.
A fire appliance from Exeter has been called to the scene and will be pumping water from the worst hit areas to the Estuary.
Colin Mills, station manager for Bideford Fire Station, said crews from Barnstaple and Bideford were already in attendance.
He said: “We are currently helping people salvage belongings and making sure residents are safe.”
Jason Little, who owns CJ’s Sandwich Bar, and Darran Pimlott, who owns Caen Card Centre, both on Caen Street, had a call at 4am alerting them to the oncoming water.
They found the water rising rapidly and are now waiting for it to subside so they can see the damage.
Mr Pimlott said: “When the river burst its banks on Chalenor’s Road we saw it just coming round the corner and knew that was it.
“I reckon there is about 3 ft of water, some businesses which are lower down are even worse.”
The village is currently cut off with Caen Street, Chalenor’s Road, South Street and the Braunton Road all closed to traffic.
PC Chris Tucker has been at the scene since 6am.
He said: “It’s been a real community effort and people have been offering to help where they can.
“It’s great to see despite this everyone has pulled together.”
Reports have also come in of flooding Chivenor, Heanton and Mullacott Cross.
PHOTOS: See our galleries for more photos of the flooding. Send your photos to email@example.com