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Wednesday, May 22, 2013
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SIDMOUTH FLOOD CHAOS
Tuesday, 10 July 2012
Area swamped by a month’s worth of rain in one day
THE Sid Valley came to a standstill over the weekend as flash flooding and heavy rain hit East Devon with damaging consequences.
With more than three inches of rain in one night, Sidmouth residents were in some parts knee-deep in water as flash floods hit the town.
The Byes was badly affected, with trees and bridges torn apart by the sweeping current and the town’s ford in Mill Street was closed as water rose above and beyond the barriers at a dangerous rate.
Many roads were virtually impassable and some residents were unable to drive into the town and were forced to abandon cars and wade through the water to get to work.
Tipton St John was badly affected. Around two feet of water settled across the pavilion and playing field. However residents said they were glad that the floods happened mainly during daylight hours, giving them more time to respond.
The Royal Oak tree, recently planted in commemoration of the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee, survived but many other trees planted during the celebration were washed away.
Staff at the Angela Court Care Home were forced to walk to work after roads leading to the care home were submerged in up to 24 inches of water and closed by police.
Alison Cook, deputy manager of Angela Court, said: “The weather has been torrential and the roads leading to the home have been completely unusable but the level of dedication from my care team has been amazing.
“We have had nurses, chefs and care staff leaving their cars and walking through up to two feet of floods to get to work and look after our residents.
“Others have had to stay over in available rooms and will have to spend another night here so they can be on hand if others cannot make it in.”
Care Home manager, Bob Allan, managed to save two staff members’ cars from ruin after they became stuck in the floodwater.
He said: “The flood was so deep my staff have had to leave their vehicles and wade through the water to get to us.
“We knew that the water would probably get deeper so I decided to move them before they became damaged.
“The water was very deep I saw a few people having to empty their wellies. I have never seen floods like this but wanted to do what I could to help.”
Following the flooding, villagers pulled together. Mud and debris was cleared from the playing fields and benches were fixed and repositioned.
This Saturday (July 14th) will play host to Tipton St John’s Olympic Fair and organisers are sure that the celebrations willt go on, while hoping for warm dry weather to clear up the boggy playing fields.
Chairman of Tipton St John's Playing Field Association, Jo Earlam said: “We are a small community charity run by volunteers looking after the playing field and other facilities and this fair is a major fundraising event in the year.
"In true Olympic spirit we are pressing on with our event next Saturday and keeping fingers crossed for some warm weather this week to help dry the field out.”
Local agencies such as the Environment Agency, local police and fire services came out in full force to help reduce the flood damage and get the area running as soon as was possible alongside East Devon District Council’s StreetScene staff.
Leader of the Council, Paul Diviani, said: “I am very proud of their dedication and community spirit and the resilience of our communities who were also fully involved in the clear up.
“And a special thanks must go to John Golding and the Housing Team for ensuring that those who had to evacuate their homes were found shelter in the emergency centre’s and with family and friends.
“Whilst emergencies are not a pleasant experience, it is reassuring to know help is at hand."
A meeting will now be held by local agencies alongside EDDC to review the weekend’s flood responses and to learn from the experience to ensure that future responses are improved and at their best.
All content © of Pulmans Weekly News unless stated otherwise.
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