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LIVE UPDATES: Emergency services kept busy as widespread flooding hits South Devon

By Herald Express  |  Posted: November 22, 2012

  • SURFACE WATER: Flooding at Hollicombe delayed motorists Tony Medlock

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THE heavens opened over South Devon yesterday causing widespread flooding and stretching emergency services to their limits.

The deluge over Torbay, Teignbridge and the South Hams disrupted the morning commute with reports of blocked roads, traffic jams, collisions, a landslide and even fish overflowing from garden ponds.

A new weather warning was in effect this afternoon as a fresh band of wind and rain swept in.

Yesterday's problems came after flooding at the start of the week, causing rain sodden fields to overflow onto roads.

At the height of activity, Devon and Somerset Fire and Rescue Service was managing more than 30 incidents across the counties with some of the most serious in the South Devon area.

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Incidents included flooding at properties in Kingskerswell, Higher Ringmore, Stokeinteignhead, and roads blocked by puddles at Clennon Valley in Paignton, Hollicombe, and Rathmore Road in Torquay.

Torquay escaped the worst of the flooding but Torbay Council reported water on Avenue Road, Dartmouth Road, Babbacombe Road and Torbay Road.

There were also delays at about 8am on the St Marychurch Road between Newton Abbot and Torquay.

Tor2 staff were out in force clearing blockages and gulleys.

Firefighters in Torquay had a busy morning helping out crews in Teignbridge.

Crew commander Scott Atkins said: "We attended calls at Ivy Tree Hill in Stokeinteignhead where the water was like a torrent.

"We also went to Higher Ringmore Farm where the water was 3ft deep and pouring in the back.

"We were extremely busy because there were so many incidents."

His crew also went to Yon Street in Kingskerswell to deal with property flooding and there was a minor landslide at Higher Exeter Road in Teignmouth which police directed traffic around prior to it being cleared.

"My advice for people expecting flooding is to invest in three or four sand bags because they really do make a difference at the front door," said Commander Atkins.

"Also if premises are threatened by water consider isolating the electricity supply and getting valuables on a higher level."

South Hams Council reported flooding on the road close to its headquarters at Follaton House.

The approach road was closed at about 6am but the council was up and running by mid morning.

There were reports of fish flapping about on the pavement as garden ponds overflowed in Totnes.

The Environment Agency issued flood warnings for the River Teign (Upper) from Clifford Bridge to Chudleigh.

The B3193 Teign Valley road was flooded in places where the river burst its banks.

The river was washing across the road at the Chudleigh end of the road.

One motorist said: "Cars were queuing to take their chances through the flood water.

"Flooding happens most winters but I have never seen the river level breach the road before."

The approach to Stoke Gabriel was flooded, with water running off the field making it impassible in parts.

There was also flooding outside of Finlake holiday park, near Chudleigh and along the B3193 close to John Acres Lane, near the clay pits, Kingsteignton.

On Tuesday drivers were reporting flooded roads and problems with surface water at Long Road on the outskirts of Paignton and between Bovey Tracey and Chudleigh Knighton.

Traffic was delayed in Newton Abbot after a large tree branch came down on the A382 Exeter Road around the Whitehill Road junction.

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