Gale force winds of up to 70mph

Gale force winds of up to 70mph and heavy rain brought flooding to Devon and Cornwall on Friday night with more severe weather forecast for Saturday.


Areas of the two counties were flooded with water up to 2ft deep in places and some roads were impassable.

The Environment Agency issued 11 flood warnings for areas in southern England and Wales where homes were at risk.

High winds strong enough to cause damage, including bringing down trees and branches, are expected to continue into Saturday.

Wales, southern and eastern England are likely to bear the brunt of the storm.

Brittany Ferries said on Friday night that it had cancelled sailings from Plymouth to Roscoff and Poole to Cherbourg because of the severe weather. A spokesman said that sailings from Portsmouth to Caen and St Malo were unaffected.

The Tamar Bridge between Devon and Cornwall was closed to motorcycles, push bikes, caravans and all high sided vehicles.

Penzance promenade in Cornwall was closed because of the high seas, and there were reports of flooded properties in Redruth, and Padstow.

A windsurfer was rescued after being washed onto rocks in “treacherous” conditions at Bigbury, near Kingsbridge, Devon. The surfer was winched to safety by a coastguard rescue helicopter.

In Sussex, boats were being deployed to help workers stranded by flood water in four industrial units on the Burrell Road industrial estate in Haywards Heath.

A West Sussex Fire and Rescue Service spokesman said: “There has been a hell of a lot of water this afternoon, amounting to about 2ft in total.”.

Heavy rain also affected other parts of West Sussex, including Lingfield and Cuckfield. The problems were exacerbated by leaves blocking drains and gutters.

The Met Office said the conditions were a “pre-cursor to winter”. There is expected to be some let up in the rain and winds on Sunday, but the stormy weather is due to return on Monday, posing a risk of disruption to the return to work after the weekend.

Environment Agency staff have been put on 24-hour alert and are monitoring river levels.

The agency’s southern regional director, Toby Willison, said: “With more stormy weather on the way, our teams will continue to work hard to make sure we are prepared.

“We are receiving weather updates from the Met Office, continuously monitoring both sea conditions and river levels, and will have officers out over the weekend to check flood defences, close floodgates and clear river blockages.

“People should be aware that there will be a lot of water around, avoid trying to drive or walk through any flooding and be sensible out and about the coast. “Although we’re not expecting any significant property flooding, it’s a good time for anyone who lives in an area vulnerable to flooding to think about the precautions they can take to protect their properties.”