Flooding and surface water has caused serious problems across North Devon today as heavy rain battered the county.
Roads, homes and train services were affected as widespread flooding hit the region following torrential downpours this morning.
Keep up-to-date with the latest flooding news below.
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ROADS AND TRAINS:
- Train services between Barnstaple and Exeter St Davids are running again after being completely suspended following flooding on the track earlier this afternoon. Services along the Tarka Line are currently running with delays of up to 30 minutes due to flooding in the Eggesford area. National Rail said delays would continue until further notice.
- Motorists advised to drive carefully at Mullacott and Woolacombe due to flooding and surface water.
- The A399 has reopened in Watermouth following an earlier closure due to flooding.
- The A3072 at Highampton, which was blocked this morning due to a fallen tree, is now clear.
Flooding at Instow today:
- Flooding has affected properties in Ilfracombe and Woolacombe and roads in Instow, Braunton and at Mullacott.
- Several manhole covers have been lifted by the heavy rainfall and a number of properties have experienced flooding.
Areas affected include:
Ilfracombe - Watermouth Road, Ropery Road, Horne Road, Wilder Road, Northfield Road and surrounding streets.
Braunton - Palmers Close, South Street, near to Tesco, and St Brannocks.
- North Devon Council has delivered a "significant" number of sandbags, thought to be around 1,000, to Braunton and Ilfracombe.
- Street cleaning is now underway in the Ilfracombe area to clear the debris which was left in the road as a result of flooding.
- Woolacombe Bay Hotel has suffered flooding this afternoon. Firefighters pumped water from the boiler room of the hotel.
- Commercial and private properties have been affected by flash flooding in Ilfracombe. Firefighters remain on standby in the town pumping out water and carrying out salvage work.
- There are reports of raw sewage spilling from a manhole cover by the Surf Bay Holiday Park in Westward Ho!.
- Combe Martin beach has been closed because water rushing down from the streets washed all the sand off of the beach.
- South West Water are dealing with a manhole cover in Combe Martin which has blown off.
- At least four fire engines were called to houses in Wilder Road and Church Road in Ilfracombe this afternoon to pump floodwater from the properties.
- Firefighters also pumped water from Drayford Road in Witheridge.
- It is understood Lidl in Ilfracombe was forced to close after becoming flooded this morning.
- The torrential rain filled up the lake at Exmoor Zoo which, before today was half empty and able to be walked in.
Lynn Reynolds, zoo curator, said the whole park was flooded during the 20 minute downpour.
“The heavens opened and it was torrential,” she said. “We were literally standing out the front with brooms sweeping the water out. Up until this morning in one half of the lake you could walk in it, it was that dry. It is now full up.
“The park couldn’t cope with it. It flooded out the meerkat pen but they went inside where they were safe. It also flooded the otter pen.”
Lynn said surprisingly the zoo had quite a few visitors who took refuge in the café when the rain started.
Flooding in Ilfracombe today:
Forecasters warn the wet weather will last for the remainder of the day.
The weather warning currently in place for Devon warns of continued heavy rainfall until at least 9pm.
A spokesman for the Met Office said: “Further rain will affect parts of western England, Wales, northern England and southeast Scotland through today before easing away eastwards.
“Accumulations of 20-40 mm are likely in many parts with the risk of more than 60mm over parts of southwest England.
“Rain could turn thundery at times with some intense downpours within the longer spells of rain.
“The public are advised to be aware of the risk of surface water flooding.”
Flood alerts are in place for the following rivers: Upper River Exe from Exford to Exebridge, the Rivers Barle, Lyn, Mole and Bray and their tributaries, and coastal streams from Combe Martin to Lynton.
Flooding in Braunton today:
Flooding in Fore Street, Ilfracombe. Video by Bert Gear:
People have taken to Twitter to share news of disruption across North Devon.
@jasmine_ks wrote: “Walking through braunton whilst it’s basically flooded is always fun”
@chlocoomber posted: “People in braunton are going to be swimming.”
@ShaplandDan wrote: "Sea is two colours! #sea #rain #devon #ilfracombe #summer #nofilter"
@ryanjhamer posted: "Lol Ilfracombe lidl is flooded hopefully the swimming pool is too"
@jd108511 said: "Ilfracombe high street looks like a scene from the film The Day After Tomorrow #Floods"
@noonooart wrote: "The road outside the shop #LeeBay is now a river #rain #ilfracombe #Ndevon"
And marialaffey17 said: "Just woken up.. It seems that ilfracombe is doing really well at improving their facilities. The whole towns now an outdoor swimming pool"
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