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A warning to drivers as heavy rain hits Cornwall

A warning to drivers as heavy rain hits Cornwall

Published by Emma Carton at 8:30am 26th October 2019. (Updated at 7:31pm 26th October 2019)

Archive photo of flooding on Cornwall's roads.

Firefighters and police have issued a warning to drivers, as torrential rain continues to batter Cornwall.

We are being urged to expect flash flooding on the roads, with more downpours set to hit on Saturday.

The downpours have already flooded a home at Warbstow Cross, after a river burst its banks.

Strong winds are also hitting the Duchy, bringing down trees and leaving hundreds of homes without power.

The Met Office weather warning for heavy rain will remain in force until 3pm on Saturday: Read more.

Devon and Cornwall Police's No Excuse Team is advising drivers to slow down and 'drive to arrive'.

"We go by the only a fool breaks the two-second rule for driving so your stopping distances could be quadrupled in this weather.

Don't rush in these weathers - you don't know what's on the roads.

"Slow down. Everyone can get to where they need to go, even if it means you have to leave a little bit earlier or not rush.

"So basically slow down and drive to the conditions. If you can't see, put your lights on and put your wipers on and just drive safely and drive carefully".

Sergeant John Kerridge-Smith, Devon and Cornwall Police

What is the advice for driving in wet and windy weather?

  • Even moderate rain can reduce your ability to see and be seen. A good rule of thumb is ‘if it’s time for your wipers, it’s time to slow down’
  • If heavy downpours are expected, avoid starting your journey until it clears
  • If you can, choose main roads, where you are less likely to be exposed to fallen branches and debris and flooding
  • Use dipped headlights if visibility is seriously reduced
  • Gusts of wind can unsettle vehicles – grip your steering wheel firmly with both hands. This is particularly important when planning to overtake
  • Keep an eye out for gaps between trees, buildings or bridges over a river or railway – these are some of the places you are more likely to be exposed to side winds. Ensure that you maintain enough room either side of your vehicle so you can account for it being blown sideways
  • Roads will be more slippery than usual in wet weather – be sure to give yourself more time to react when approaching a hazard. Increase your following gap to at least four seconds from the moving traffic in front
  • Keep your eyes peeled on the road at all times as spray from other vehicles can suddenly reduce your visibility. Remember it affects others too, so anticipate their actions and be prepared.
  • On flooded roads, think before driving through deep water; don’t stop in standing water, and drive through the highest section of the road slowly. If there is any doubt don’t enter it.
  • Once you have managed to drive through check your brakes and dry them out as quickly as possible – a light touch of the brakes whilst still moving should do the trick.

You can read more advice from the RAC on the Met Office's website here.

You can check the latest traffic and travel information for Cornwall here.

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