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UPDATED: Torquay seafront balloon 'shredded' in storm force winds

By This is SouthDevon  |  Posted: January 03, 2012

Picture by David Banks

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STORM force winds and rain brought disruption to South Devon's roads early today.

And Torquay's famous seafront balloon was the most high-profile casualty.

The Hiflyer balloon was shredded by high winds despite efforts to save it.

Around £30,000 worth of helium was lost from the huge white balloon when the winds struck around 5.30am.

By daylight the shredded balloon was strewn across the ground.

The Met Office issued a severe weather warning for rain and wind across Cornwall and Devon and said gusts of up to 70mph were expected across Dartmoor, Exmoor and exposed parts of southern Devon.

Firefighters were called to Cockington Primary School in Torquay at 9.30am after reports that the Perspex roof of the school's swimming pool was in a precarious position.

Crews also cleared storm drains after two feet of water flooded a property in Plymouth Road, Buckfastleigh at 10.35am.

Devon County Council said trees had been brought down across the county overnight.

A fallen tree on the Berry Pomeroy to Totnes road caused delays.

The Environment Agency warned of possible flooding today in the Totnes, Ashburton, Buckfastleigh, Dartmouth and Torbay areas.

It said rain was moving through the region more slowly than originally forecast.

Around a dozen ships had taken shelter in Tor Bay, Lyme Bay and Babbacombe Bay this morning.

Read more from Torquay Herald Express

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  • jeannie44  |  January 05 2012, 5:16PM

    Quote by Irishbob "I am crossing the pond later this year to spend Christmas week in Torquay and am hoping the balloon will be operational then. I will endeavor to convince my good friend Jeannie44 to ride it with me in an attempt to convert her over to being a positive supporter of the device." The only way you will get me in that balloon Bob is to offer me a champagne & lobster dinner for two watching the sun go down over Dartmoor. But not at Christmas. Brrr. Alternatively, we could share fish & chips on Teignmouth seafront. XXX

  • themokey  |  January 04 2012, 8:58PM

    Just cannot help himself, hides behind another name and false IP address. Just what does this site do for you...Chickenfries, JensonM, Indigoe, Redskys...do you have a kink about it Timoglock?

  • pete_m  |  January 04 2012, 8:06PM

    So you're back, again?

  • Timoglock  |  January 04 2012, 7:55PM

    Balloon = Failed Torquay shops = Failed Hotels that dont suddenly burn down = Failed No drug adict scumbags = Failed And all the dog poo under foot. Yeah Come to Torbay, life is great.

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  • pete_m  |  January 04 2012, 7:29PM

    Well said irishbob and Spike071. The hostility that a decent enough tourist attraction has brought is beyond my understanding. Some folk have very, very closed minds.

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  • irishbob  |  January 04 2012, 7:08PM

    The comments by TwirlGirl are spot on. Besides workers now being without a job whatever revenues stream that flowed to the Town will be lost. I am crossing the pond later this year to spend Christmas week in Torquay and am hoping the balloon will be operational then. I will endeavor to convince my good friend Jeannie44 to ride it with me in an attempt to convert her over to being a positive supporter of the device. Bob Sullivan Raleigh, NC USA

  • Spike071  |  January 04 2012, 6:43PM

    I can't believe the comments I am reading on here. As a proud resident of Bournemouth our community embraced the balloon when it appeared here. The balloon in Bournemouth does a lot of work with charities and works closely with the local radio station on many charity auctions and events. After what I have read most people of Torquay are ashamed of where they live and what they have. You should be embracing the balloon and coming together as a community to help them. Are most people of Torquay ashamed of where they live and embarressed of what they have??? People of Torquay should support business and be proud of the fact that companies actually want to set up a business there and employ local jobless people. It seems to me that residents in Torquay would rather live in the dark ages and let their community go to rack and ruin rather than breath life into their area and regenerate it. from what i have read on here if I had a business to set up, Torquay would be the last place i would look. Shame on some people on here for being small minded and disrespectful. You are obviously ashamed of what you have and dont realise how lucky you are. Looks like most of you would be quite at home letting your town and community die and live in a cess pit!!!!!

  • themokey  |  January 04 2012, 5:43PM

    It has never been a tourist attraction and never will be, hope that they don't repair it and fly it again. Now lets do something about the Palm Court, Princess Gardens, Torwood Street and Rock Walk, they are some of the attractions about Torquay. I have just been looking at a book 'Torquay Then and Now', it shows you when Torquay when it was busy and the beaches were crowded, wish we could return to those times. @ ineedtherapy...there was a time when I was proud of being a local and brought up in Torquay, now I say I come from Devon.

  • JUGGERTRAPS  |  January 04 2012, 3:59PM

    I've heard of the Juggernaut charles! He sounds like a most delightful fellow, do you know what he had in mind? Hopefully he can kickstart torquay in a positive new direction!

  • charlesxavier  |  January 04 2012, 3:29PM

    Rumour has it the Juggernaut is opening up a new enterprise there? I wonder what it'll be?