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Cornwall Back On Weather Watch

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12:03pm 18th December 2013
(Updated 12:03pm 18th December 2013)

Cornwall battens down the hatches.

A severe weather warning has been issued for heavy rain and gales from Wednesday afternoon.

The Met Office says there is a risk of flooding and gusts could reach 70mph on the coast: "Heavy rain and gales will affect South and West Wales, South West England and some southern coastal counties of England on Wednesday evening.

"Gusts will reach 50 to 60 mph quite widely, with 70 mph gusts likely in exposed coastal areas. Heavy rain may also cause some localised flooding across parts of Wales and South West England. The rain will clear and strongest winds will ease by the early hours of Thursday morning.

"The public should be aware of the potential for minor disruption."

The Chief Forecaster added: "A deep area of low pressure will pass close to North West Scotland during Wednesday evening, extending bands of heavy rain and gales across many areas from Wednesday afternoon into Thursday morning. Strongest gusts are likely in coastal areas exposed to the southerly winds. Heaviest rain will be on high ground in the west, with the potential for both river and surface water flooding."

But the effects of the weather are already being felt in Cornwall with strong winds picking up and the rain arriving.

Forecasters say the drive home from work on Wednesday afternoon could be particularly treacherous.

Homeowners are being reminded to put flood plans in place and keep an eye out for flood alerts from the Environment Agency. You can check the latest here.

This as we are warned the stormy weather looks set in for Christmas.

Becky Yousef from the Met Office told Pirate FM: "As we look forward to Christmas it does look as if it will stay unsettled. We unfortunately have the jet stream in charge of our weather at the moment so we have a succession of fairly deep low pressures coming towards the UK over the next few days so unfortunately heavy rain and strong winds are on the cards."

Cornwall Council has teams out checking that gullies, drains and trash screens in flooding “hot spots” are clear of debris. Crews from Highways, Environment, Fire and Rescue and Emergency Management services, Devon and Cornwall Police, CORMAC and the Environment Agency are monitoring the situation and are on standby to deal with any problems.

Thi as officials warn people living in areas at risk of flooding to take precautions and not to drive through any flood water.  Agencies are also advising organisers of late night shopping events to take precautions:

A spokesperson said: "During the floods which took place last year a number of householders reported difficulties in obtaining sandbags when the heavy rain 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.

"Members of the public are advised to sign up to receive free flood warnings from the Environment Agency website, check weather reports on the Met Office website or by listening to local radio and be prepared to change travel plans."

Further advice on preparing for flooding is also available from the Council’s website at www.cornwall.gov.uk/flooding

12:03pm 18th December 2013

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