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5:22am 11th June 2012
(Updated 5:22am 11th June 2012)

Cornwall on flood alert.

Coastal towns from Land's End to Looe and Bude are battening down the hatches, ahead of high tide.

The Highways Agency is warning drivers to take care, and plan journeys and check the forecast before setting off.

It is advising high-sided vehicles, caravans and motorbikes to avoid the A30 and A38 at Bodmin if possible, because they are at higher risk of being blown over.

A weather warning is in place after winds of up to 70mph battered the Duchy but Westcountry Tonight forecaster Bob Crampton says the worst will be over by lunchtime: "This is a front that's moving through. As with all fronts it's been spinning around so we've had, almost a double dose of rain, getting heavier as well. I think that is moving to the north-east.

"What's happened is we've had this low pressure which we predicted. Very, very deep system, coming in from the south-west, moving across Cornwall, moving north-east. That's actually had very tight isobars which means very strong winds. These are the sorts of winds you get in the winter".

Police had to shut the harbour road at Porthleven last night.

porthleven harbour
Power cables were downed in Lanner.

At St Mawes, boats broke free of their moorings and smashed into rocks.

Falmouth Coastguard co-ordinated a rescue off The Lizard.

The local lifeboat was scrambled after a sailor got into trouble in high winds and rough seas.  

He ended up being winched to safety by the Culdrose chopper.

Yachtsman rescued off the Lizard 07/0612


Falmouth Station manager James Instance says, "He took the sensible action. He was single handed, tired, not making any progress and could see the situation getting worse so therefore put out a distress call and we were able to get him off before the situation deteriorated, when he was in real, real difficulties, so actually he took a pragmatic decision.

"This is the whole idea of the Met Office putting out an early warning, us putting out information like this; you tell people that the weather is going to be terrible. There are very, very strong winds, very high seas and rough conditions so don't go to the coast unless you just want to look at it. Keep yourself safe and don't go to sea unless you have to. Just be incredibly careful.

"Unless you are at sea already we would advise you not to go. Even if you're thinking about going to the coast, to the beaches, the weather state is very severe. Strong winds, heavy rain, poor visibility. It's really not the weather to be going to sea, even for leisure activities. If you're looking to go surfing or anything just be incredibly careful in these circumstances".

Up to the minute forecasts and alerts are available from the Met Office andthe Environment Agency.

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