Weather less severe than forecast - so far

First published in Cornwall by

Staff from Cornwall County Highways, Cornwall Fire Brigade and Emergency Planning, all six District Councils, Devon and Cornwall Police, the Environment Agency and the NHS worked throughout the night to deal with incidents of flooding and storm damage caused by the severe weather.

Cornwall's multi agency response was co-ordinated at the "Silver Control" incident centre which was opened at Cornwall County Fire Brigade Headquarters in Truro at midnight. This involved representatives from all the key statutory agencies.

Cornwall Highways had staff on standby, and mobilised CORMAC crews at 4am to deal with reports of flooding, tree falls etc. through the period leading up to high tide. The Customer Information Centre at Scorrier (01872 222000) was opened at midnight to deal with calls from the public and to pass the information onto operational staff.

Cornwall County Fire Brigade swtill has all its crews on standby and, in preparation for possible floods, has brought in additional equipment organised through the Fire Services National Co-ordination Centre.

This includes two rescue boats - one from Hereford and Worcester Fire Brigade and one from Wiltshire - and a high volume pump from Warwickshire. The Brigade also had its own rescue boat on stand by at Falmouth Fire Station.

All the district councils have put local emergency plans into action, and opened Emergency Centres with staff on standby to respond to specific incidents as required.

The Environment Agency incident room is at Bodmin and Devon and Cornwall Constabulary also have additional officers working throughout the night and day to ensure it is able to maintain an effective service.

This morning, the county council said although the weather has not been as severe as originally predicted, staff at the Cornwall Information Centre and Fire Control received a number of calls relating to fallen trees and flooding incidents, mainly in coastal areas.

Cornwall Highways has so far dealt with approximately 20 reports of fallen trees, some of which have blocked roads.

A number of roads were also affected by flooding. These included the road into Flushing and the road through Tresillian, all of which were closed for a short time during the period of high tide earlier this morning.

Flooding also affected a number of minor roads in Looe and Mevagissey. The Promenade at Penzance was also closed as a preventative measure. The Tamar Bridge was also closed to high sided vehicles, caravans and motor cycles for much of the night.

Among the areas worst affected by flooding were Looe, Fowey, Mevagissey and Flushing, where water came over the harbour walls, affecting a small number of properties.

Resources have now been scaled down following the period of high tide, although staff from all the agencies will continue to monitor the situation closely over the next few hours. Additional staff and resources will be on stand by in case they are required over the remainder of Monday and Tuesday morning.

Cornwall's Senior Emergency Planning Officer Steve Winston is delighted with the response from all the agencies involved in the severe weather incident. "Everyone worked closely together to ensure that the agreed emergency plans were put into place as quickly and efficiently as possible," he said.

"Although the weather was not as severe as predicted, we did receive a number of calls relating to fire and flood damage. I am confident that our procedures would have enabled us to cope with a major incident and I would like to pay tribute to the effective partnership working between all the agencies which ensured that we were able to protect members of the public".

If you have a story to tell about the storm or have taken pictures why not send them to the Packet. You can email editorial@packetseries.co.uk or send them via the website.

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