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Clean-up underway after storm batters Devon
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- Trees fall as high winds sweep across Devon
- No serious injuries reported across county
- Drivers and rail passengers face delays
There is an improving picture in Devon as rain and wind move off to the east of the county, but localised flooding due to leaf fall blocking drains will remain a hazard.
Highways teams across the county have had a busy night and morning dealing with severe winds and heavy rain, which have left fallen trees and much debris across the county’s road network.
81 trees were reported down, including many on the major A roads.
Devon County Council and Devon and Cornwall Police are advising road users to remain vigilant throughout the day.
While the A-roads are the priority to clear this morning, drivers are reminded there may be incidents on minor roads not yet reported to the authorities, and therefore to proceed with care.
The Council’s advice is not to drive through flood water, or fords with heightened flows.
The latest road status this morning:
The road is lifting on the A3072 between Highampton and Holsworthy due to flooding. Temporary traffic lights are in place.
The A385 in Rattery remains closed.
On the A375 between the Hare and Hounds pub and Sidbury, several trees down have caused disruption. Tree surgeons are attending a large tree, fallen at Pen Hill. The road is currently closed but will reopen by lunchtime.
The B3352 Pear Tree Cross to Holne Bridge is now clear.
Tree surgeons are busy clearing a tree on Exeter’s New North Road. Specialist lifting gear means that the road remains closed.
The A380 Splatford Split is being cleared.
Luscombe Hill in Dawlish is closed due to trouble with power lines
Hamlin Lane in Exeter is closed due to a fallen tree, and a tree surgeon is expected on site soon.
There are traffic problems on the A381 Standborough Cross, due to the local conditions.
Tree surgeons are busy with four trees on Pensylvania Road, Exeter.
Debris on the footpath caused by damage to a wall along the Strand in Lympstone means that the footway there remains closed.
Brayford Bridge, running through Brayford Village is closed due to flooding.
The A386 Little Torrington near to Rosemore Garden Centre has flooding, but is passable with care.
The A386 Merton to Meeth road has lifted due to flood water and is operating with temporary traffic lights.
The A377 Fortescue Cross, Kings Nympton is closed while a large tree is cleared
The river has burst at Bray Mill Bridge on the B3227
River banks have also burst on the B3226 Clapworthy, closing the road.
A tree fallen on the footway at Hill Barton Road in Exeter should be cleared very soon
A team is working to clear a fallen tree on the footway at Renslade House, Whipton.
Councillor Stuart Hughes, Devon County Council’s Cabinet Member for Highway Maintenance and flood prevention, said:
“Highways teams have been out all through the night responding to incidents as they’ve occurred.
“Our priority now that the wind and rain have moved on is to deal with the disruption to the priority road network, to get that clear as quickly as possible.
“We’re asking drivers to remain cautious, especially as it starts to get dark later this afternoon, because there may be incidents not yet reported to us, and therefore may still be potentially hazardous.
“Don’t drive too fast, and avoid driving through flood water. There may be potholes underneath surface water which present a hidden danger so drivers need to be aware of those and also of increased breaking distances.
“It’s also important that people make sure they are up to date with the latest flood and weather warning information, which can be found on the Environment Agency’s website, and via the Met Office. Its also a good idea to listen to local radio stations for weather updates and the latest travel information.”
Service suspended on First Great Western between Exeter St Davids and Barnstaple due to poor weather.
Limited replacement buses are running between Exeter and Barnstaple direct, but buses can't stop at stations en route due to the local road conditions.
The fire service in Devon and Somerset have given an update on the incidents caused by the storm.
Weather-related incidents attended by fire crews over the last 24 hours include:
Sunday, October 27
- 9.35am Dismantled and made safe a small wind turbine, Hostle Park Gardens, Ilfracombe
- 11.29am Wooden sign dismantled outside property at St Mary Street, Bridgwater
- 17.06pm Chimney stack dismantled and made safe, Ancastle Terrace, Ansford, Castle Cary
- 22.37pm Assist with flooding, Denham Close, Brake Farm, Plymouth
- 23.34pm Assist with flooding, Crownhill Road, Plymouth
- 23.37pm Plasterboard fallen in porch made safe, Meddon Street, Bideford
Monday 28 October
- 00.51am Trees and power cables made safe, Ash Walk, Henstridge, Templecombe
- 2.04am Tree fallen made safe, Ash End, Henstridge, Templecombe
- 2.30am Tree blocking highway, Kingskerswell Road, Barton, Torquay
- 4.14am Assist with dangerous structure, Foxhole Road, Foxhole, Paignton
- 4.28am Assist other agencies with dangerous structure, Higher Marley Road, Exmouth
- 5.32am Man rescued from car in floodwater, near The Little America, Bideford
New North Road in Exeter
Sun is shining in Tavistock think we might have slept through #devonstorm— @JoG13 28 October 2013
A huge tree in Higher Cemetery blew down in the storm. Picture from @ExeterCouncil http://t.co/XH2jm9EvkF #Devonstorm— @AdamWalmesley 28 October 2013
A train hit a fallen tree at Ivybridge, however the CrossCountry service had no passengers on boardand the driver was not injured in the incident.
A CrossCountry spokesman said: "The train hit a tree, or part of a tree, which was across the line.
"The train was empty - it was going to form part of the 07:02 Paignton to Manchester service."
First Great Western said: "We are running as many services as we possibly can. As long as it is safe to do so we will run them."
Rail services are delayed between Plymouth and Exeter.
Power cuts left more than 5,000 homes without power across the South West, with Plymouth and Exeter hit.
Plymouth was also hit by flooding, with 85 reports including roads and some properties.
Fallen trees and debris brought down by the wind are also making driving conditions extremely difficult.
#devonstorm In Newton Abbot, Castlewood Avenue is partially blocked because of a fallen tree. Passable with care.[mg]— @BBCTravelSW 28 October 2013
SOUTH West Trains hasadvised people not to travel today (Monday) with most services not running until at least 8am to allow Network Rail to check the lines.
A reduced timetable will be in operation, with some trains limited to speeds of 50mph.
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