EA Devon flood warning for weekend

PUBLISHED: 15:37 12 November 2009 | UPDATED: 00:33 16 June 2010

THE Environment Agency in the South West urges people to be aware of possible flooding as the Met Office is predicting periods of heavy rain from Friday and over the weekend.

THE Environment Agency in the South West urges people to be aware of possible flooding as the Met Office is predicting periods of heavy rain from Friday and over the weekend.

Initial forecasts received from the Met Office show waves of heavy rain sweeping across Devon, Cornwall, Wiltshire, Dorset, Somerset and parts of South Gloucestershire over the next three days from this Friday ( November 13) to Sunday.

Rivers have been responsive to recent rainfall as the ground is now wet so that the forecast rain could cause some rivers to rise quickly and put local communities at risk of flooding.

The first band of rain is expected to start today (Thursday) with a period of prolonged rainfall throughout Friday and then blustery showers on Saturday and Sunday.

Early predictions indicate about 40-50 mm of rain could fall on low ground, and possibly 80mm on the moors, with the heaviest falling between 12 and 6pm tomorrow (Friday, 13 November). This could also impact on the larger rivers on Saturday.

EA staff are on 24-hour alert receiving updates from the Flood Forecasting Centre, continuously monitoring river levels and officers on the ground are on stand-by to check flood defences, clear river blockages and install flood barriers where necessary.

The rainfall could also lead to some localised flooding from runoff and drains unable to cope with the increased volumes of water. Environment Agency officers are also in close communication with Local Authorities and emergency services should there be any surface water flooding.

"These bands of rain could cause problems and we would urge people who live in homes that are vulnerable to flooding to start thinking about taking precautions to protect their properties. People should also take action if they receive a flood warning and know what to do if they receive one," said Ben Johnstone for the Environment Agency.

The Environment Agency is reminding people to listen to local weather reports and updates in the media. They should also find out if they are at risk from river flooding by going to the Agency's website or calling Floodline on (0845) 9 88 11 88.

If they would like more information on the situation in their area, and to register for Flood Warnings Direct, they should also call the Floodline number.

"You can find advice on things you can do to limit the damage to your home at our website or by ringing Floodline if the worst was to happen. People should also stay away from rivers and not drive through flood water. They could be very high, fast flowing and dangerous. They should avoid trying to drive or walk through any flooding as you could end up in difficulties," added Mr Johnstone.

"People driving home on Friday evening should take extra care not to drive through flood water as we know people can get stuck and have to be rescued by the Emergency Services.

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