STORM UPDATE: Storm swings to the south as Cornwall braces for landfall. VIDEO (From This is The West Country)
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STORM UPDATE: Storm swings to the south as Cornwall braces for landfall. VIDEO
10:00am Sunday 27th October 2013 in Cornwall
UPDATE: As the St Jude's Day storm tracks a little to the south, heavy rain is expected from late afternoon, with the full force of the storm expected to make landfall in the early hours. Will Cornwall escape the worst.
With a yellow alert for heavy rain in place for today, and a concern over flooding due to soaked ground, the Met Office are warning that persistent, heavy rain could see surface water flooding develop "quite rapidly".
This concern "is likely to be swiftly superseded by the impact of the increasing winds".
The worst is expected before 6am, with the strongest winds, which could reach over 80mph on exposed coast, having passed over the country by noon on Monday.
The track of the storm is still in flux with a Met Office spokesman saying that the storm now looks like tracking along a path slightly further south.
And while this means that "the peak winds across Cornwall and the south west may be slightly less strong than feared", the rest of the Southern Uk could now face the worst of the winds. The Met Office amber alert now applies to wide swathes of the south of the country.
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As Cornwall battens down the hatches and prepares for what some are calling the storm of the decade, the public have been warned to take all necessary precaution.
Hurricane-force gusts and downpours are in place to produce the ‘perfect’ storm, damaging trees and buildings, battering the coast, causing transport chaos, and cutting power supplies.
Anyone whose property is prone to flooding should ensure they have a supply of sandbags ready to protect their home or business should they need to, while boat owners, drivers and caravan sites have been warned to take action.
Local communities are also encouraged to check with vulnerable neighbours in case they need help with obtaining flood protection materials.
Any teams who may be putting up seasonal decorations and lights in towns and villages are also being advised to either hold off putting them up or check that any which are erected are secure.
There is a risk of heavy showers and longer spells of rain which could cause localised flooding in some areas and disruption to travel.
The Environment Agency is advising people living in areas at risk of flooding to take precautions and not to drive through any flood water.
Will the wind be as strong as during the 'Great Storm of 1987.
Environment Agency staff teams are out working to minimise river flood risk, clearing debris from streams and unblocking culverts and will continue to closely monitor the situation. The Agency is also supporting local authorities who will respond to any reports of surface water flooding.
Crews from the Council’s Environment service and Highways contractor Cormac Solutions Ltd have been out checking that gullies, drains and trash screens in flooding “hot spots” are clear of debris over the past few days and further checks will take place over the weekend.
The combination of high winds and heavy rain is likely to cause very large waves and swell around the Cornish coasts. Agencies are warning members of the public to avoid seafronts, quaysides, jetties due to the risk of overtopping by waves.
Officers from Cornwall Council’s Highways, Environment, Fire and Rescue and Emergency Management services, Devon and Cornwall Police, CORMAC and the Environment Agency will be monitoring the situation throughout the weekend and are on standby to deal with any problems.
During the floods which took place last year a number of householders reported difficulties in obtaining sandbags when the heavy rain affected their local area.
Sandbags can be obtained from builders merchants, DIY and hardware stores. Anyone who is unsure if their property is at risk can check on the Environment Agency website www.environment-agency.gov.uk or call the floodline on 0845 988 1188.
Members of the public are advised to sign up to receive free flood warnings from the Environment Agency website www.environment-agency.gov.uk, check weather reports on the Met Office website www.metoffice.gov.uk or by listening to local radio and be prepared to change travel plans.
Further advice on preparing for flooding is also available from the Council’s website at www.cornwall.gov.uk/flooding.
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