Strong winds batter region

Busy night for highways teams as fallen trees block a number of the county’s roads.

STRONG winds and heavy rain have kept Devon County Council’s highways teams busy overnight.

The county was hit by storms from late yesterday with gales of up to 60mph and downpours affecting local roads.

The council’s Highway Operations Control Centre dealt with reports of more than 50 trees and branches down and eight flooding incidents between 4pm yesterday afternoon and 7am this morning (Friday).

All major roads are understood to be open but branches and debris may still be affecting minor roads.

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The council is warning people to drive with care, particularly on rural roads where some problems may not yet have been reported.

Councillor Stuart Hughes, cabinet member for highways, said: “The strong gusts of wind seem to have caused most of the problems overnight with a number of trees and branches down.

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“Anyone travelling in the county should be aware that they may encounter some debris on the roads today, and there is the possibility of problems on minor roads which we may not have been alerted to.

“Our highways teams have responded well throughout the night and early this morning to ensure that roads have re-opened as quickly as possible, but we’re still experiencing strong gusts and the clear up will be continuing throughout the day.

“As we’re near the end of half-term we’re expecting the county’s roads to be busy so I would urge everyone to be cautious when travelling.”

Local roads which were closed due to fallen trees, but have now re-opened include the B3230 at Muddiford.

Flood alerts issued by the Environment Agency remain in force for many of the county’s rivers and the North Devon coast.

Conditions have improved since late last night but weather warnings are still in place with gales and heavy showers expected across the region throughout the day.

However, rain is forecast to die away this evening and winds will also ease.

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