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Christmas Eve: Flood Ruins Christmas for Families

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5:09pm 24th December 2012
(Updated 5:09pm 24th December 2012)

Flood hit Cornish families face a very miserable Christmas.

The Environment Agency has issued a yellow weather warning of heavy showers on Christmas Day. That has sparked fears the already saturated ground won't be able to cope, leading to further flooding

Police say 245 homes across Cornwall were affected by flooding over the weekend as waters rose. Cornwall Councilflood said teams had to deal with more than 600 separate incidents. 

Many people are battling to make it home to Cornwall for Christmas.

Trains still can not make it in or out of Cornwall and Devon - sparking a string of cancellations and bus replacements.

First Great Western says passengers should consider delaying their journeys if at all possible.

But many had already held off from making their journeys, hoping conditions and transport would improve.

It looks like that will not happen till Friday, leaving some facing a fight to get home to spend Christmas with their families.

See the latest advice here

Richard from Lostwithiel was among the victims, now counting the cost of the downpours. He said: "The kitchen's had it. There's no fridge. The freezer's floating. I've saved my computer because it's got all my photographs on. You take what precautions you can but cooker, fridge, washing machine all gone. All the food's gone, all the presents have gone.

"This is my second insurance claim since the floods in 2010 so from now on I shall be uninsurable. You can see the damp coming up on the wall already. Even the dog food has gone. I'm still in a bit of shock.

People in Looe, Par and St Blazey are the latest to become victims.

Mud and water was sent cascading through homes in Seaton near Looe yesterday as a landslip crashed through Tregunnick Lane.

200-300 tonnes of earth collapsed into gardens.

It was one of 100 calls about landslips and problems with roads in Cornwall on Sunday.

The severe flood warning for Helston has been stood down. But the town remains on a flood warning and there is another for the River Hayle from Relubbus to St Erth. You can get the latest updates and see the latest flood alerts here.

landslipThe Environment Agency says it expects to downgrade its flood forecast for Cornwall from Medium to Low Risk for Christmas Day, one up from its lowest rating.

The Met Office has an amber weather warning out for the rest of the day.

Geoff Boyd from the Environment Agency in the Duchy is watching the latest band of rain batter down. He said: "We try to make sure that evacuation, which is obviously something led by police and not ourselves, is something which is very much a last resort because people do not want to leave their homes, quite naturally."

Two hundred families in Hannafore are no longer cut off, after engineers cleared part of a giant landslip which brought down trees across the road into Looe.

A single lane of the road is now passable, under the control of traffic lights.

Mother's Horror at Trapped Son

Mum Lisa has told Pirate FM of her terror after realising her seven year old son was trapped by flooding in Lostwithiel: "I ran down there as fast as I could and the rescue team spotted me and I said, 'Look, please, I just want to go and get my son.' I was crying, I was calling his name. It was absolutely horrible. As I got further and further towards the flat the water came up to my waist.

"I was just standing outside. My son was inside. I was just absolutely panicking. He was in there crying saying, 'Mummy please, please. Mummy please.' In the end they managed to get the door open, the force of the water was so strong up against the door. They just picked him up and brought him out to me."

She is thanking the rescue crews who helped reunite them.

Forecast

A spokesperson for the Met Office said: "Further spells of rain are expected to affect southwest England during Christmas Eve. Given already saturated ground from recent rainfall, the public should be prepared for an increased risk of both surface water and river flooding along with disruption to travel."

The amber weather warning predicts between 10-20mm with up to 30mm on higher ground.

Christmas day looks to be a mixture of sunshine and heavy showers, with winds gusting up to 50mph on the coasts.

But the Met Office has also issued a yellow warning: "Heavy showers are expected to affect parts of southwest England and Wales on Christmas Day. Given the saturated nature of the ground, following heavy rainfall over recent days, the public should be aware of the possibility of further localised flooding and disruption to transport."

Many people are battling to make it home to Cornwall for Christmas.

Trains still can not make it in or out of Cornwall and Devon - sparking a string of cancellations and bus replacements.

First Great Western says passengers should consider delaying their journeys if at all possible.

But many had already held off from making their journeys, hoping conditions and transport would improve.

It looks like that will not happen till Friday, leaving some facing a fight to get home to spend Christmas with their families.

See the latest advice here

Landslip picture credit: Mark Hewitt

5:09pm 24th December 2012

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