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Mid Devon avoids most of the heavy rain and flooding today (January 5)
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- *More rain and saturated land has lead to more flooding in some parts
- *The public are warned to be wary of coastal areas as gale force winds are predicted
- *Amber flood warnings remain in place for some Devon rivers
DEVON and Somerset Fire and Rescue Service is reminding people to be aware of possible continued flooding later tonight (January 5) and into Monday, as predicted by the Met Office.
The Service is especially asking motorists to heed warnings not to drive through any floodwater, as it could put themselves and others at risk.
Area Manager Alex Hanson said: "It is impossible to tell how deep water is or the condition of the ground beneath. Your vehicle may be swept away or become stranded. Vehicles can float away in just two feet of water.
"If you do see floodwater on the road, do not attempt to drive through it; instead try to find an alternative route.
"If a road has been closed, it is for the safety of the public and closure signs should be respected. This is particularly important as schools and many people return to work on Monday and the pressures this may bring.
"Please take heed of the road closed signs and also be aware that satellite navigation systems will not necessarily alert you of alternative routes that may be flooded.
"Motorists should also be aware of the possibility of tree branches and other debris on the roads due to high winds earlier this weekend."
The Service offers further useful advice which could help prevent accidents during heavy rainfall and flooding:
People should bear in mind the following safety tips:
• Don’t walk on sea defences or riverbanks.
• Avoid walking or driving through flood water.
• Keep children and vulnerable people out of floodwater.
• Take care or avoid crossing bridges when water levels are high.
• Take care crossing culverts as they are dangerous when flooded.
• If your vehicle stalls, leave it immediately if safe to do so and seek higher ground.
• Do not travel in heavy rain storms unless absolutely necessary. Keep an eye on weather reports on local television or listen to local radio.
• Do not attempt to walk through flooded areas. Even shallow water moving fast can sweep you off your feet and there may be hidden dangers such as open drains, damaged road surfaces, submerged debris or deep channels; these can cause serious injuries or even death.
• Do not smoke, eat or drink whilst in contact with floodwater and always wash your hands afterwards
• Following a flood in your home, make sure all electrical circuits are fully dried out and checked by an electrical engineer before switching back on can cause serious injuries or even death.
The Environment Agency has flood warning updates on their web site every 15 minutes, please visit www.environment-agency.gov.uk/flood or ring their floodline 08459 881188 service.
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RT @Plympolicewco: Wind and rain starting to hit us now. Please take care on the roads, increase your distance, slow down and lights on. #P…— @DC_Police 05 January 2014
Photo: Devon and Cornwall Police.
POLICE and the Coastguard are still searching for a Devon teenager who went missing from his home in the South Hams during Thursday's storm.
Harry Martin, 18, left his home in Membland, Newton Ferrers, around noon on January 2 and is thought to have been going out to take photographs of the stormy weather.
Harry was last seen walking in the direction of the coastal path near to his home.
Devon and Cornwall Police, the Coastguard and the Plymouth Lifeboat rescue team are conducting extensive searches around the coast and inland in the area. The police helicopter and RNAS Culdrose helicopter are also involved in the search.
His disappearance is described as "out of character" and police are extremely concerned for his welfare.
Anyone who has seen Harry or knows of his whereabouts is urged to contact police immediately.
He is described as 5ft 11ins tall, of slim build with short dark hair, a light beard and blue eyes. He is thought to be wearing pinky-coloured skinny jeans and a grey hooded jumper.
Anyone with information is asked to contact police on 101, quoting log number 291 of 030114.
THE Environment Agency says Mid Devon river levels are currently below amber flood alert criteria but the alert remains in place, with more rain expected throughout the day.
The alert is in force for the Rivers Creedy, Creedy Yeo, Little Dart, Lapford Yeo and their tributaries.
An EA spokesman said this morning: "This alert remains in force due to the likely risk of more localised flooding mainly of low lying roads and land. Environment Agency staff will continue to monitor river levels and ensure our schemes are working satisfactorily."
The South Western Ambulance Service is urging people to stay safe by keeping informed.
A spokesman said: "The weather problems are at their peak during the high-tide periods so those in coastal areas should familiarise themselves with the local times and expected impact.
"The changing conditions on the roads is making driving very hazardous.
"The public can be reassured that all emergency, public and health services are working together to continue to provide a safe and effective service to all communities in the South West. However, it is vital that the public think about the most appropriate service for their needs before calling 999.
"Anyone suffering a life-threatening emergency should always call 999. If it is not a life-threatening emergency, we would urge the public to think about using other available healthcare services – NHS111, walk-in-centres, minor injury units, pharmacies etc; please visit the NHS Choices website for further information."
THE Environment Agency currently has 58 amber flood alerts and 27 flood warnings in place for the South West.
River levels of the Rivers Avon, Erme and Harbourne, coastal streams from Bigbury to Dartmouth, and Kingsbridge, South Brent and Ivybridge areas are currently below flood warning criteria - but more rain is forecast later.
The Environment Agency believes this will be centred on Dartmoor and South Devon.
A spokesman said this morning: "Catchments are very wet and river levels are likely to rise again following the rain. This amber flood alert remains in force due to the likely risk of more localised flooding mainly of low lying roads and land. Environment Agency staff will continue to monitor river levels and ensure our schemes are working satisfactorily."
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