Further heavy rain in south west England

The Environment Agency, Devon and Cornwall police, Devon County Council, Cornwall Council and the Met Office are warning householders in Cornwall, South Devon and Dorset to be aware of possible further flooding overnight and are urging people to take precautions to reduce the effects of flooding on their properties.

More than 250 properties were damaged after intense rain sent flood water pouring into homes in nine towns and villages including St Austell, Lostwithiel, Pentewan, St Blazey, Portloe, Luxulyan, Mevagissey, Par and Launceston.

The Met Office have issued a severe weather warning, predicting further rainfall over Friday night and Saturday morning, with the potential for heavy rain giving 15 to 20mm fairly widely, and the risk of 40mm locally across Cornwall and South Devon. This may lead to localised flooding, particularly where the ground is already saturated.

Environment Agency staff are on 24 hour alert receiving updates from the Met Office, continuously monitoring river levels and officers are already on the ground checking flood defences, and clearing river blockages and this will continue throughout the night.

‘These bands of rain could cause problems and we would urge people who live in homes that are vulnerable to flooding to start thinking about taking precautions to protect their properties. People should remain vigilant of the increased risk tonight and take action if they receive a flood warning,’ said Ben Johnstone for the Environment Agency.

‘The Environment Agency service will provide a warning of flooding from larger river systems but will not be able to provide advance warning from surface water or flooding from small watercourses.’

The Environment Agency and Met Office are reminding people to listen to local weather reports and updates in the media. They should also find out if they are at risk from river flooding by going to the Agency’s website or calling Floodline on 0845 9 88 11 88.

If they would like more information on the situation in their area, and to register for Flood Warnings Direct, they should also call the Floodline number.

People can take precautions, and these include:

  • Listening to local radio for local weather reports and updates on http://www.metoffice.gov.uk, calling Floodline 0845 988 1188 for the current flood situation or checking the Environment Agency’s website http://www.environment-agency.gov.uk
  • Think about what you could move to safety
  • Prepare a flood kit of essential items
  • Know how to turn off your gas, electricity and water mains supplies
  • Making sure nearby drains are clear of leaves and other debris
  • Avoid walking or driving through flood water
  • Staying calm and reassuring people around them
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