Motorists warned as flood and weather alerts affect roads

Drivers are being warned to watch their speeds after the Met Office issued a yellow warning for rain across most of Devon.

Bus and train services may also suffer from the dismal weather and commuters may face long waits and disruption to their journeys.

Earlier this morning, the Met Office warned: “Persistent heavy rain likely to bring some travel disruption during Thursday.”

The forecasters added: “Spray and flooding on roads will make journey times longer. Bus and train services affected with journey times taking longer.”

The full forecast by the Exeter-based office notes that the persistent heavy rain will continue “across parts of Devon and Somerset during Thursday”.

Cars driving through heavy rain and standing water
Cars driving through heavy rain and standing water

“Coming after heavy rainfall on Wednesday night, this will leave surfaces very wet and lead to difficult driving conditions, particularly during the morning,” the Met Office added.

As a result, rivers and brooks are at risk of overflowing and the Government’s Flood Information Service has issued a total of eight flood warnings this morning, all in the Devon and Somerset areas.

One warning covers the River Teign area stating that people should “expect river levels to rise overnight with flooding to low lying land and roads close to the river”.

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The warning says: “River levels will remain high throughout Thursday although no flooding to properties is forecast and warnings are not expected to be issued.”

Further east there are warnings in place for the River Tone outside Taunton, the Middle Exe area of Devon near Tiverton and the Rivers Clyst and Culm and their tributaries at Cullompton.

Drivers are being advised to avoid “low-lying roads” in affected areas, with the warning for the River Tone saying: “Flooding of roads and farmland is possible.

Flood warnings around rivers in Devon on Thursday May 13, 2021
Flood warnings around rivers in Devon on Thursday May 13, 2021
(Image: Flood Information Service)

“We are closely monitoring the situation.

“Please avoid using low lying footpaths near local watercourses and plan driving routes to avoid low lying roads near rivers which may be flooded and refer to local authority website for local road closures.”

Despite motorists being warned to slow down, drive sensibly and not take any risks, Devon and Somerset Fire and Rescue have already announced they have attended three road traffic collisions this morning.

Similarly, Highways England and Devon County Council Highways and Emergency Planning department have also issued warnings, beseeching drivers to be cautious.

The five-day Met Office forecast for the South West

Today (Thursday):

A wet, breezy day for most as rain persists across the region, occasionally heavy. Into the afternoon, this rain is likely to fragment into more showery bursts, and the odd sunny spell could develop. Meanwhile, staying largely fine in Cornwall. Maximum temperature 14°C.

Tonight:

Showers will likely ease and become more scattered through the evening, clearing towards the west overnight, allowing some clear spells to form in the east. Breezy winds beginning to ease. Minimum temperature 7°C.

The Met Office have issued a Yellow warning for rain today
The Met Office have issued a Yellow warning for rain today
(Image: The Met Office)

Friday:

A drier day for most, with sunny spells. The odd scattered shower remains likely, but these lighter and less frequent than recently. Cornwall seeing the cloudiest and most showery conditions. Maximum temperature 16°C.

Outlook for Saturday to Monday:

A band of rain will cross the region Friday night, then unsettled with sunshine and showers for the rest of this period. These showers heavy and possibly thundery at times.

For updates on the weather and issues being caused on the road, follow our live blog here.

Devon Live – Devon News