Roads turned to rivers in East Devon when flash floods from torrential rain resulted in deep water cutting off homes, causing devastation and damage.
Areas of Newton Poppleford, Seaton, Sidmouth, and Tipton St John were worst hit, when on Tuesday (May 9) hours of heavy rain prompted the Rivers Otter and Sid to breach banks and flood roads and residential areas.
The old A30 London Road, at Cranbrook, claimed several cars when motorists attempted to drive through deep flash floodwater on the highway.
When Burrow stream burst its banks in Newton Poppleford, roads turned to rivers.
Living in the village, a ‘tearful’ Hil, Pinfold, and her husband, were on Wednesday (May 10) counting the cost of the flooding after their home was left under water.
The couple were shocked when floodwater and silt poured into their home, knocking down their garage and a six-foot wall.
** Hil Pinfold’s video (below) shows the torrent of floodwater running through their garden, into their home.
She said: “We’re devastated. There was horrendous flooding. The garage is partly down. My husband’s car moved and looks like it’s a right-off.
“A six-foot wall has been demolished, the water was in the hall and kitchen. It’s unbelievable.
“We’ve got a foot of mud in the garden and the road is impassable.”
** The damage and devastation left by the floodwater. Videos by Hil Pinfold
Seaton firefighters were called out for ‘a number of incidents’ in East Devon after heavy rain caused flooding around the Rivers Sid and Otter.
The crew rescued residents and vehicles stuck in the floods, pumped out water and checked on people on their homes.
Michelle Teissier, from the Golden Lion, in Tipton St John, said water was above their knees in the road outside as they waded away after floodwater surrounded the pub ‘like an island’.
They used towels and bedding to block windows and doors to ‘minimise the damage’.
She told ITV News: “It was coming through the front door, through the side door, it was just everywhere.
“We’ve been here 20 years and I’ve never seen anything like this before. We were trying to go down the road and it was over our knees. It was like a full-blown river running down the road.”
She said a thunderstorm was followed by heavy rain and a lot of water on the road outside the pub.
Michelle said: “A couple of our customers said ‘oh look there’s a lot of water on the road, is that normal?’ It was like a river starting to run down the road.
“Within 15-20 minutes, we were surrounded by it, it was just like a flood. It just came teaming down. “I think it must have come all the way down from East Hill. It was just like a complete river down the road.
“The next thing we knew, all of our doors started to fill up. It just didn’t stop. It was everywhere. It was just like an island, surrounded by water.
“We just ran around and got lots of towels and bedding, just anything we had, and just tried to minimise the damage and try and block it up in the middle.”
Deep flooding was reported between the Sidbury and Sidford crossroads, and a convoy of cars were seen crawling through several inches of floodwater at Woolbrook, Sidmouth.
A torrent of water, seen coming from East Hill and Northmostown, lifted off drain covers.
Residents rallied round to dig out two cars that were stuck in silt, clearing the road and helping neighbours fill sandbags to protect their properties.
Many roads in East Devon were impassable because of flash flooding. Part of the old A30 London Road, bypassing Cranbrook, was underwater, and several motorists attempting to drive through were forced to abandon their vehicles and wade to safety.