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More Wild Weather Causes Flooding in Cornwall

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2:23pm 25th November 2012
(Updated 2:23pm 25th November 2012)

Cornwall is counting the cost after a night of flash floods, branded the worst in a decade by the Environment Agency.

But it is not over yet. There is still one severe flood warnings out in the Duchy. The River Cober at Helston including St Johns Road, St Johns Close, Coronation Park and Loe Pool is still posing a danger to life.

You can get the latest updates from the Environment Agency here.

Officials have told Pirate FM that all of Cornwall is vulnerable to further flooding in rain this afternoon. It is after some of the Duchy's rivers hit their highest levels since records began.

Anna Pidcock runs a hotel in Polperro, one of the worst hit areas on Saturday night. It was the first to be put on a severe warning. She said: "We've had houses evacuated - we haven't had this situation in Polperro for a long time because of our excellent flood defence situation. But the water is just unbelievable.

"I've never seen so much water come off the cliffs behind us. Over the last week we've had water running off the cliffs in tremendous quantities. We have huge amounts of wood and trees above us and I'm really worried that's all going to come down."Flood

Dozens of people had to evacuated from their homes in the worst hit areas - including around Millbrook and Mevagissey.

Around eighty homes ended up under water.

Cars had to be pulled free from flooded roads by tractors around Tintagel.

Some people found they could not get home in Newyln when water spilled over the roads.

Mike was among those told to prepare for the worst: "I was watching X Factor, had a look outside and all of a sudden it just went crazy. A lot of people had to be evacuated to St John's Hall. There's cars being pulled through that have been left there for the last three or four hours. They're completely under water. There are people being piggybacked across the bridge by the Coastguard. The big road that comes down is just a river - there's no sign of the road anymore."

David Barron runs the newsagents. He said: "I've been in business here forty years and lived in Newlyn all my life - sixty-seven years. I've never seen anything like it before."

Emergency crews admit call outs left them stretched.

Superintendent Sarah Sharpe, from Devon and Cornwall Police, said: "We would ask people only to travel if they really have to and to stay away from swollen rivers and streams.
 
"Please do not walk into flood water it is exceptionally dangerous, and don’t be tempted to drive into flood water even if you think you can make it to the other side. The roads remain a risk in many areas due to surface water and flooding, abandoned vehicles, debris and fallen tree branches.

"We are expecting more rain in the next 10 to 12 hours and our message to people is to stay indoors, stay safe and be cautious."

Cornwall Fire and Rescue took 350 calls in just twelve hours - forcing them to prioritise life or death situations.

Inspector Andrew Webber from the police tells Pirate FM some places were just cut off: "For a while we had quite a lot of small towns and villages where you simply couldn't get to them unless you knew access to the higher routes. So a lot of standing water on the roads - in fact we weren't able to sign all the road closures and all the flood waters."

There has been a landslip at east Portholland with part of the cliff behind five houses giving way. Ten people had to be evacuated from their homes and are being put up at a local hotel.

There is still flooding at Trenear, Helston, with several properties suffering severe flooding. Fire crews from Helston and Camborne have helped evacuate residents and are now pumping out the water, having called in back up from Mullion.

Incredibly, there are no reports of any injuries in Cornwall.

There is still a severe weather warning out for Cornwall.

It has been downgraded from amber to yellow. But it warns of more heavy rain to come on Sunday afternoon.

Some sunny spells till then but then another band of rain moving in at lunchtime with the worst arriving mid afternoon along with winds getting up to sixty miles an hour, with the worst gusts expected to be in Looe and on the Lizard.

A spokesperson for the Met Office said: "After a drier interlude, further heavy rain is expected during Sunday afternoon and evening. Given existing levels of saturation, the public should be aware of the risk of localised flooding."

It could amount to another 25mm of rain falling onto already heavily waterlogged ground.

The Prime Minister has described scenes of flooding as "shocking."

David Cameron has promised to "ensure everything is being done to help".

You can get the latest by follow the Pirate FM Twitter feed.

Thank you to Matt Skinner for the images of Millbrook below, James Prisk and Kymm Sandum for the pictures of Newlyn, David Roughton for the pictures of Gunnislake Bridge and Irena for the picture of Lostwithiel...


2:23pm 25th November 2012

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