Severe Weather Warning
Friday 25th October 2013
Following Press Release issued by Cornwall Council on 25th October :-
Residents and visitors to Cornwall warned to be prepared for storm force winds and heavy rain
Following Met Office warnings of strong winds and heavy rain affecting Cornwall over the weekend, agencies are asking everyone to be prepared and take precautions where necessary.
The latest information from the MET Office is for storm force winds of between 60 and 80 mph to affect parts of Cornwall from midnight on Sunday evening until late Monday afternoon.
These high winds could cause significant damage to trees, buildings and power lines together with a risk of flying debris. As a result agencies are warning drivers, particularly those driving high sided vehicles or caravans, to take care. Warnings are also being given to boat owners, and caravan and camp sites to take all necessary precautions. Any teams who may be putting up seasonal decorations and lights in towns and villages are also being advised to either hold off putting them up or check that any which are erected are secure.
There is a risk of heavy showers and longer spells of rain which could cause localised flooding in some areas and disruption to travel. The Environment Agency is advising people living in areas at risk of flooding to take precautions and not to drive through any flood water. Environment Agency staff teams are out working to minimise river flood risk, clearing debris from streams and unblocking culverts and will continue to closely monitor the situation. The Agency is also supporting local authorities who will respond to any reports of surface water flooding.
Crews from the Council’s Environment service and Highways contractor Cormac Solutions Ltd have also been out checking that gullies, drains and trash screens in flooding “hot spots” are clear of debris over the past few days and further checks will take place over the weekend.
The combination of high winds and heavy rain is likely to cause very large waves and swell around the Cornish coasts. Agencies are warning members of the public to avoid seafronts, quaysides, jetties due to the risk of overtopping by waves.
Officers from Cornwall Council’s Highways, Environment, Fire and Rescue and Emergency Management services, Devon and Cornwall Police, CORMAC and the Environment Agency will be monitoring the situation throughout the weekend and are on standby to deal with any problems.
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