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Cornwall Back on Flood Alert
4:05pm 19th December 2012
(Updated 4:05pm 19th December 2012)
Cornwall braces itself for more storms.
The Met Office has upped its weather warning for the Duchy from its current yellow alert to Amber from Wednesday evening.
The torrential downpours are expected to continue all day - with a fresh bank of rain arriving overnight.
Four flood alerts are out for West Cornwall Rivers, St Austell and Par Rivers, the River Lynher and the Upper Tamar.
You can see the latest updates here
Forecasters say after a calmer afternoon, another band of rain will hit the Duchy on Wednesday evening:
"Periods of heavy rain are expected to affect Cornwall and much of Devon during Wednesday evening and at times well into Thursday. This additional rainfall following the rain earlier on Wednesday means that the public should be prepared for an increased risk of both surface water and river flooding."
The Met Office says the amber alert will be in force from 6pm on Wednesday to 3pm on Thursday.
Forecaster Becky Yussef says: "Today we've already seen half an inch of rain in places and as we go through this evening and overnight, we could see up to another two inches of rain. That's going to increase the risk of flooding I'm afraid because the ground's already saturated.
"Unfortunately the next five day period does remain unsettled. We've got further spells of rain coming through over the weekend and we do have yellow alerts in force for Saturday already for Cornwall. We could see a further inch of rain in those locations come Saturday and Sunday looks little better."
Nick Roseveare from the Environment Agency says: "Our teams have been out around the clock to minimise the risks and prepare for flooding. We urge people to keep up to date with the weather forecast and remain prepared for flooding in their area by signing up to receive free flood warnings and staying away from dangerous flood water or attempting to drive through it."
Cornwall Council is asking residents to be prepared and take precautions where necessary: "Warnings have been given for heavy rain and strong winds affecting parts of Cornwall in the early hours of Wednesday, 19 December. There will then be a period of dry weather for a few hours during the day on Wednesday before more heavy rain comes into Cornwall around 6pm on Wednesday evening and overnight into Thursday.
"The wet weather and strong winds are then expected to continue throughout Thursday, with levels of rainfall between 30 and 40mm and some intense localised downpours of intense rain expected at times."
Officials say Cornwall Council's Highways, Environment, Fire and Rescue and Emergency Management services are monitoring the situation closely and are on standby to deal with any problems.
They are also warning the strong winds could result in large waves and highlighting the potential danger to storm and wave watchers.
During November's floods Pirate FM has learnt a doube amputee from Penzance was told he would have to go and collect his own sandbags, as water threatened to overwhelm his home.
His local councillor Mario Fonk said: "Of course it should never have happened. Usually there are procedures in place to help people in that sort of situation. I am making sure he is supplied with sandbags that he can store in his shed."
In a statement the council said: "During last month's flooding a number of householders reported difficulties in obtaining sandbags when the severe weather affected their local area. As neither the Council nor the Environment Agency has a statutory duty to provide sandbags, 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.
"Local communities are also encouraged to check with vulnerable neighbours in case they need help with obtaining flood protection materials."
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.
Anyone with responsibility for community Christmas lights and decorations is being advised to check they are properly secured against strong winds and consider turning off Christmas lights if the weather deteriorates. Organisers are also being advised to check for any damp or damage before turning them back on and to get a qualified electrician to sort problems.
For further advice on flooding visit the Environment Agency website or the Cornwall Council website
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