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PHOTOS & VIDEO: Braunton flooding - afternoon update

By EGaskarth  |  Posted: December 22, 2012

  • Man canoes through Braunton - from Holly Thompson

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UPDATE: Click here to view the latest news and information on flooding in Braunton. UPDATE: Click here to view photos of flooding in North Devon. UPDATE: 16.00 Videos of the Braunton flooding:

UPDATE: 13.15 Emergency services continue to tackle severe flooding in Braunton with six fire crews from across the county still on the scene. 

Flood water which had been over three foot deep in places is now being pumped out and back into the River Caen at Vellator by a specialist pump which can pump 20,000 litres of water a minute. 

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Watch commander Allan Coxon arrived at the scene at 9am and said there were still concerns about the further rain expected later today. 

He said: "This has been the effect of the heavy rainfall and the water was coming into the village from all sides. 

"We have crews based in three different areas in the village - Velator, South Street and St Brannocks. We don't know how much longer we will be on the scene at this stage."

PC Chris Tucker was one of the first members of the police  on the scene in the early hours of this morning. 

He said: "I got here about 6am as we noticed the floods while driving around on the night shift. 

"We have had several officers here and the police helicopter is hovering over the river to keep checking the water levels, we were most concerned about the high tide at lunchtime."

One of the areas most at risk was Score Farm Bridge, which the emergency services thought might initially collapse. 

The coastguard confirmed the threat had reduced for now but concerns were still in place for tonight. 

Power cables were also affected and several teams from Western Power Distribution were on the scene to reconnect the power supply.

Braunton Parish Councillor Jasmin Chesters was on the scene at 4.45am. 

She said: "This is the worst I have ever seen it, much worse than the last big floods in 2004. All the businesses in Caen Street have been flooded.

"I had to go home and change into some waders, the water was up to my waist in some places.

"We have just had so much rain I don't think any flood defences could have protected us from this. 

"Everyone in the village has been great, a real community effort with everyone helping each other out and getting sandbags to people."

Heavy rain overnight caused widespread flooding across North Devon, causing misery for home and business owners just before Christmas.

There are two severe flood warnings - meaning there is a danger to life - in place on the River Caen at Braunton. 

Swansea Coastguard dispatched the Croyde and Instow Coastguard Rescue Teams to the village to assist emergency services with evacuations and checking homes.

There are eyewitness reports that cracks have appeared on Score Farm Bridge in Braunton, with local residents raising concerns the popular local landmark could be at risk of collapse.

The Fire Service said it has responded to incidents in Barnstaple, Croyde, Braunton, Wrafton and Bideford.

Crews assisted home owners for flooding inside their properties ranging from 5 inches to 3 foot.

A police spokesman said: "The River Caen in North Devon has burst its banks and as a result the A361 Barnstaple to Brauton road and also the Ilfracombe to Braunton road are closed to all traffic.

"Braunton is effectively cut off from both Barnstaple and Ilfracombe and numerous properties both houses and businesses are affected.

"The public are advised not to attempt to drive to the town as it is flooded. Emergency services are on the scene and taking action to protect properties.

"Additionally, the A396 Tiverton to Exeter road is closed at both Stoke Cannon and Bickleigh as a result of both flooding and a landslip.

"The public intending to travel to Exeter are advised to use the M5."

Rail services between Exeter St Davids and Barnstaple are suspended in both directions, with no replacement road transport available, according to First Great Western.

A stream in Croyde has burst its banks, effectively cutting the village off  to all but specialist vehicles. 

Hannah Collins, 30, speaking from South Street in Braunton, said: "Well it's flooding down South Street and Gubbins Lane. The Mariners is flooded and it's all pretty chaotic. Everyone is on hand helping each other out. Sand bags ahoy!"

Another resident reported King Street and the Square being flooded, with water reaching the door handles of some properties. 

For further advice on preparing for flooding visit the environment agency website www.environment-agency.gov.uk 

To report flooding incidents which are not posing a risk to life, contact 0300 1234 100.

Do you have any photos of flooding in North Devon? Email your photos to emma.glanfield@northcliffedigital.co.uk or send them to us on Twitter: @ThisisNDevon. Click here to view a weather forecast for North Devon for the next four days. Related content: People evacuated from homes in Barnstaple after River Yeo bursts its banksNo trains between Barnstaple and Exeter until after ChristmasPHOTO GALLERY: Flooding in Braunton & Barnstaple - December 2012Braunton flooding - evening updatePHOTOS: Flooding in North Devon - 22/12/12PHOTOS: Flooding in North Devon - December 2012

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  • skareggae72  |  December 22 2012, 10:43AM

    My thoughts are with people who are affected by this,terrible scenes,especially so close to Christmas. Even with the new flood defences around the Braunton area,the rivers/groundwater levels are so high this was inevitable.

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