‘Heavy and intense’ rainfall sparks flood alerts for parts of East Devon as rivers rise

The Environment Agency has warned of possible flooding in areas of East Devon as a result of heavy rainfall expected to start on Friday afternoon (December 18).

Flood alerts have been issued for the areas of the River Axe, Lower Exe, Rivers Clyst, Culm and their tributaries, plus the Rivers Otter, Sid and the Exmouth area.

The Environment Agency (EA) said ‘heavy and intense’ rainfall of up to seven centimetres could fall in localised areas within a 15-hour period, beginning on Friday afternoon and continuing until the early hours of Saturday morning.

It is warning of possible flooding of low-lying land and roads near to rivers, plus blocked drains.

The EA said further heavy rainfall was expected for Monday into Tuesday across East Devon.

An EA spokesperson said: “Widespread totals of up to 35mm, with localised totals up to 70mm are forecast within a 15-hour period from Friday afternoon.

“Areas of higher ground such as Dartmoor may see isolated totals of up to 100mm in fifteen hours.

“Rivers are expected to respond quickly to this rainfall.

“Flooding of low-lying land and roads close to rivers is possible.

“Surface water may be deep, especially where leaves have blocked the drains.”

The EA said it would monitor river levels and staff would check and clear any blockages.

A flood warning for the South Devon coast, from Dawlish Warren to Seaton, was removed on Friday lunchtime.

The EA said: “Coastal conditions have now improved and this flood alert is now below criteria.”

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