Storm clean-up under way

Debris may still be on roads and drivers are urged to exercise caution.

Strong winds and heavy rain have kept Devon County Council’s highways teams busy overnight.

The county was hit by storms from late yesterday with gales of up to 60mph and downpours affecting local roads. The council’s Highway Operations Control Centre dealt with reports of more than 50 trees and branches down and eight flooding incidents between 4pm yesterday afternoon and 7am this morning (Friday).

All major roads are open but branches and debris may still be affecting minor roads. The county council is warning people to drive with care, particularly on rural roads where some problems may not yet have been reported.

Councillor Stuart Hughes, Devon County Council Cabinet Member for Highways and Transportation, said: “The strong gusts of wind seem to have caused most of the problems overnight with a number of trees and branches down. Anyone travelling in the county should be aware that they may encounter some debris on the roads today, and there is the possibility of problems on minor roads which we may not have been alerted to.

“Our highways teams have responded well throughout the night and early this morning to ensure that roads have re-opened as quickly as possible, but we’re still experiencing strong gusts and the clear up will be continuing throughout the day. As we’re near the end of half-term we’re expecting the county’s roads to be busy so I would urge everyone to be cautious when travelling.”

Exmouth Esplade was closed at 9pm last night due to the weather and high tide and it remains closed.

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Oak Hill, near Oaklands Park School, in Dawlish, is also closed this morning after a fallen tree hit power cables. Western Power is currently on site.

Roads which were closed due to fallen trees, but have now re-opened are:

Old Matford Lane at Exminster, B3193 Christow, A385 between the A38 Marley Head junction and the A384 Cott Road, A377 Nymet Roland, A381 Brutus Bridge, A3052 Boshill Cross, A382 Chagford, A361 Landkey, B3230 Muddiford, B3362 North of Gulworthy where a tree fell on a car, and the A396 near Bampton.

Flood alerts issued by the Environment Agency remain in force for the Rivers Dart, Axe, Otter and Sid, Rivers Clyst and Culm and their tributaries, River Teign area, Exmoor Rivers, the Exmouth area and the North Devon coast.

Conditions have improved since late last night but weather warnings are still in place with gales and heavy showers expected across the region throughout this morning. However, rain is forecast to die away this evening and winds will also ease.