Atlantic storm warning for Plymouth as rain and wind are set to batter city
The Westcountry is being warned to brace itself for yet more wet weather, with up to three months’ worth of rain predicted to fall in just four days in parts of the region.
Heavy showers are threatening to flood vulnerable locations and heap even more misery on holidaymakers in localised areas, while Cornwall Fire and Rescue Service said its 650 firefighters were ready to take “flood action”.
Tourists were put on the alert amid fears that tents and caravans in low-lying areas could be washed away by torrential downpours.
Some flights and ferry crossings could be affected by the weather this afternoon, with passengers being advised to check the latest updates as an Atlantic storm looms over the region, threatening serious disruption.
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Heavy rain was predicted across the South West last night with as much as 60 millimetres (2.3 inches) set to fall during a 12-hour period.
The Met Office yesterday issued a yellow severe weather alert for the region and for Wales – warning that a worst-case scenario could see three months’ worth of rain fall in localised areas in four days.
The Environment Agency has warned people to prepare for waterlogged roads and has warned the public to stay away from swollen rivers and not drive through floodwater.
Spokesman Mike Dunning said officials had been spreading the word via social networking sites in an attempt to warn isolated holidaymakers of the potential danger at exposed camp sites.
“There has been no major incident in the South West, but we are not out of the woods yet,” he warned.
“More rain is on the way, although just how much remains to be seen – there is a risk it could flood, but just exactly where, is difficult to say.
“Communities and holidaymakers in places which have previously been affected should be cautious and keep in touch with forecasts and make sure they are not in a vulnerable place when the heavens open.”
The Environment Agency said that while there were no flood warnings on Westcountry rivers last night, people in Devon, Cornwall and West Somerset were urged to be prepared for flooding todayTHURS.
However, Met Office forecaster Charlie Powell said levels of 24mm (1in) had already been recorded in Exeter and up to 20mm in other parts of Devon and Cornwall by mid-afternoon.
He predicted that south Wales would bear the brunt of the wet weather, with up to 80mm (3.1in) falling in the Black Mountains and the Brecon Beacons.
“There are some quite large rainfall totals, with slow-moving heavy showers – from today some locations could see as much as 60 to 80mm,” he added.
Flights and sailings to the Isles of Scilly could be disrupted later today, but are expected to run this morningTHURS.
The Scillonian boat will depart Penzance at 9.15am this morning but will not leave the islands until 4.30pm on Friday.
Skybus flights are also affected, with no flights in or out of the islands until Saturday.
Cornwall Fire and Rescue Service said its 650 firefighters and 100 support staff were ready to take flood action.