Page last updated at 21:55 GMT, Friday, 13 November 2009

Heavy rain and gales cause chaos

Waves top the breakwater at Mountbatten in Plymouth

Gale force winds and heavy rain have hit many parts of Cornwall causing flooding and bringing down trees.

Homes and roads have been flooded and roofs have blown off two homes in east Devon.

Coastal flooding and gusts of up to 80mph (128km/h) were forecast for parts of Devon and Cornwall, with winds peaking early on Saturday morning.

The Environment Agency (EA) has warned motorists to only make evening journeys if necessary.

Peter Herring, from Cornwall's Highways Agency, said the Tamar bridge had been closed to motorcycles, push bikes, caravans and all high sided vehicles. The closure has caused traffic to build up on both sides of the bridge.

Brittany Ferries cancelled sailings from Plymouth to Roscoff and Poole to Cherbourg because of the severe weather.

Promenade closed

Dozens of roads in west Cornwall were reported to be flooded, and as the rain continued some have become impassable with water up to 2ft (60cm) deep in places.

Penzance promenade was closed

Penzance promenade has been closed because of the high seas.

Fire crews were called to the Camborne Science and Community College in Cranberry Road, Camborne, to help clear debris from drains.

An appliance also attended a flooded house at Trevenson Moor, Pool, at the same time.

Flooding also struck Padstow's harbour and two engines were called.

One harbourside pub said its electrics were affected by the floodwater.

Flooding was also reported in Tuckingmill, Crantock and areas around Perranporth.

Fire fighters have helped residents in, Redruth, Pool and Padstow where properties and businesses have been flooded.

The Met Office said waves of heavy rain would continue to sweep across Devon and Cornwall until Sunday.

According to the EA, the recent wet weather, combined with any further heavy rainfall, could cause some rivers to rise quickly and put some communities at risk of flooding.

Heavy rain and gales cause chaos

Staff have been put on 24-hour alert and were monitoring river levels.

Officers on the ground were also on stand-by to check flood defences, clear river blockages and install flood barriers.

Ben Johnstone, from the EA, said: "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."

A spokeswoman for Brixham Coastguard and Maritime Agency said warnings of gale force 9 to storm 10 were being issued for the coming hours.

She urged boat-users to be sensible and heed any warnings put out by the Met Office.

A windsurfer was rescued after getting washed onto rocks at Bigbury, near Kingsbridge, Devon.

Waves up to 11ft (3.35m) have been forecast for the Animal Newquay Open surf competition at Fistral beach over the weekend.

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