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Forecasters predict no let up in Westcountry's wet winter

By Western Morning News  |  Posted: December 24, 2012

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More rain is set to exacerbate the flooding chaos in the Westcountry. Another band of wet weather was expected to come in last night bringing up to 30mm – more than an inch of rain – across Devon and Cornwall today.

The heaviest rain was expected to fall in the early hours of this morning followed by frequent showers during the day.

Christmas Day is looking showery with occasional spells of sunshine and temperatures around 9C.

More than 100mm of rain has accumulated in many places, bringing floods and significant disruption to travel.

One severe flood alert remained in place yesterday – for the River Cober in Helston – alongside 46 flood warnings and 56 flood alerts in the South West.

The Exeter-based Met Office issued an updated amber weather warning for the whole of Devon and Cornwall.

A forecaster said: "Another front is lurking in the wings which will bring more rain to all areas today. Although it is not a large amount of rain falling, it's hitting already saturated and sodden ground.

"And unfortunately there is no real let-up on the horizon."

He said people should plan for possible travel delays as they make their way to friends and family for Christmas.

The Environment Agency warned people to prepare themselves for more flooding and take action where necessary.

A spokesman said: "Normally this amount of rainfall forecast wouldn't be a problem. But because the rivers are so high and the fields are swollen, it could cause more problems to roads, rivers and potentially properties.

"The severity of the situation depends on where the intense rainfall happens. We're keeping a close eye on places such as Stoke Canon, Braunton and other places in Cornwall such as Helston and Lostwithiel. Our teams are out around the clock to minimise the risks and prepare for flooding, clearing drainage channels and ensuring that flood defences are working properly."

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