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Severe Flood Warning for South Cornwall Coast

Porthleven storm
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10:02am 28th November 2014
(Updated 10:02am 28th November 2014)

A severe risk-to-life flood warning has been issued for the whole of the south Cornwall coast.

Places like Porthleven, Looe, and Kingsand are thought to be most at risk at the evening's high tides on Friday.

It comes after Cornwall Council did a u-turn on asking people to buy their own sandbags, after the government said it would foot the bill.

Mike in Penzance has already got some outside his front door: "My garden slopes down from the prom by about six to eight inches, fills up with water and luckily it stops about an inch and a quarter below the sill level so in fact they weren't put to the test but it's quite reassuring to have them.

"Elderly people they just don't know where to go, they probably haven't got the strength to put these things in place themselves, they can't carry the bags; absolutely crucial.

"We've down here over 40 years and I've never seen anything like it. Looking out late at night it was like looking into a disaster movie; the waves going up so high and sort of mingling and swirling around and then just crashing down."

And now the military's being brought in to help in the Duchy's flood fight-back.

Thousands more sandbags are being handed out in other danger zones.

Some locals have told Pirate FM they think it is too little too later.

Peter Marsh is coordinating the operation at County Hall where the Silver Command emergency HQ has been activated: "Weather is fast changing, we've had significant periods of testing over recent weeks. Broadly that's held up. We will keep the situation under review and if we need to do things differently going forward then that's what will happen."

There are fears 80 mile an hour winds could power on storm surges.

They have already sliced through power cables and torn down trees.

The A39 Atlantic highway is blocked by massive branches between Bude and Kilkhampton.

Countless more backroads are covered in surface water.

At one point the A30 was so bad it was partly closed.

Van driver Alex got stuck in rising water on the Lizard: "Today I've got a route which is quite spread out along all the country lanes around the Lizard Peninsula and it's pretty shocking to be honest. All the lanes and back roads are flooded and most of the main roads going into all the villages are also flooded.

"I thought I'd make it but I got half way through. It didn't look too deep from where I was looking but I got half way down and it went a lot deeper and I ended up getting - my van cut out and I ended up getting stuck."

While the worst of the rain is moving away from the Duchy, the radar is tracking more squally downpours and the risk of thunder and hail.

Four homes have already found themselves underwater at Treluswell and more around Bodmin and Liskeard.

There have been landslips around Lostwithiel and Trewidland too.

"All the agencies are busy preparing for this latest episode of severe weather" said Geoff Brown, the Council's Cabinet Member for Homes and Communities. "We are encouraging people to take the normal precautions and also to stay away from coastal areas so they do not hamper emergency services responding to incidents.

"I would also like to praise the efforts of local communities who are showing great resilience in the face of considerable challenges."

10:02am 28th November 2014

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