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'Tis the season to get drenched – transport misery as roads flooded

By Western Morning News  |  Posted: December 21, 2012

  • The Met Office has issued a severe weather warning for the next few days. Above, cars struggle through surface water in Colyton, East Devon, yesterday Picture: Richard Austin

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Torrential rain brought further misery to the Westcountry yesterday as more homes and businesses were inundated with water while several drivers had to be rescued from cars stuck in rising floods.

More than two inches (60mm) of rain fell on some parts of Devon and Cornwall overnight and yesterday morning, causing widespread travel disruption with dozens of roads blocked by deep surface water.

Four flood warnings were issued on rivers in Devon and Cornwall by the Environment Agency while 20 lesser flood alerts were also in force.

Fire crews from both counties dealt with dozens of incidents as the heavy rain swept across the region during the night and morning. Highways teams were also out in force clearing drains and surface water.

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Three people were taken to hospital suffering from shock after their car was trapped in flood waters yesterday lunchtime in the Draynes Valley, near Liskeard, South East Cornwall.

One man had to be rescued from his car after being trapped in flood water at Rodds Bridge near Bude at around 11am. Similar rescues were also made by firefighters at Rockbeare, near Exeter, and Weycroft Bridge, near Axminster, prompting warnings to motorists not to drive into flood waters to be repeated.

A van driver also had a lucky escape when what's thought to be a mine shaft opened up as he approached a house in Wendron, West Cornwall, yesterday lunchtime. The man managed to jump from the vehicle, which was left hanging over the edge of the hole. Police cordoned off the incident, which was on private land, while the van was recovered.

Meanwhile, firefighters from Launceston, North Cornwall, were called out at 5.45am to pump water from a house at Altarnun which had been flooded by run off from a nearby field.

Properties in Chapel Square, Mevagissey, were also hit by flooding while damage was also reported at two homes at Helford and one in Hayle.

Residents in Porthallow, near St Keverne, were flooded as waters in the middle of the village rose to two feet deep although levels began to recede in the early hours. A house in West Putford, near Holsworthy, was flooded by run off from a field prompting a 999 call at about 1.30am.

A spokesman for the Environment Agency said its teams would remain on alert today and throughout the weekend although the flood threat is expected to ease as the weather improves.

"Although we had prolonged heavy rainfall throughout the night and into the morning across Devon and Cornwall we didn't get the volume we had feared," the spokesman said.

Any respite from the weather is likely to be shortlived as the Met Office issued a severe weather warning with up to four inches of rain forecast by late on Sunday.

Christmas outlook

Dreams of a white Christmas are likely to be dashed this year by unseasonably mild temperatures, forecasters have said.Conditions on December 25 could be perfect for winter walks, with sunshine set to grace much of the country.Only western areas are expected to see scattered showers on what is predicted to be a dry and mild day elsewhere.Temperatures are forecast to climb as high as 10C in the south and 7C in northern regions.The mild conditions are predicted to continue into Boxing Day but Britain is likely to see in the New Year with a bout of wet and windy weather.

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