Sunday, July 8, 2012

Flood alerts in Devon as deluge continues

Alexandra Topping in the Guardian (UK): Yet another clean-up operation was under way in parts of the UK on Sunday after heavy rain battered many parts of the country over the weekend, causing the Environment Agency to issue three severe flood alerts in Devon. The environment secretary, Caroline Spelman, visited Ottery St Mary, near Exeter, which saw some of its main roads turn into rivers after a month's worth of rain fell in just 24 hours.

More than 20 flood warnings and nearly 100 flood alerts remained in place across England, with more rain forecast in some areas. Warnings were in place in the Midlands, the south-east and south-west of England. But the alerts for Edinburgh and the Lothians were lifted. The wet weather brought further chaos when a man in his 20s was killed in a car crash in dire conditions in East Tynedale, Northumberland.

In the south-west, two inches of rain fell across Devon and Dorset, forcing the Environment Agency to issue a severe flood warning – its highest level of alert, which means that floods may pose a "danger to life" – around Stoney Bridge and Castle Hill in Axminster. Dunkeswell in Devon had two inches (53mm) of rain between 6pm on Friday and midday on Saturday, while Exeter saw 1.7in.

Two people near the river Brid in Dorset had to be rescued by coastguards from the top of their car, as did a man stranded in his wheelchair in water at Burton Bradstock. In the hamlet of Yealmbridge, Devon, homes were engulfed in up to six feet of water when the river Yealm burst through sandbags, reaching a record high of seven and a half feet, according to the Environment Agency.

The water left a trail of devastation, with houses damaged and the asphalt on one road in the hamlet destroyed by the force of the water....

The River Devon flooding in 2008, shot by John Chroston, Wikimedia Commons via Geograph UK, under the Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 2.0 Generic license

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