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Winds of 73mph cause disruption in the South West

Johanna Carr

BBC News Online

People are being warned to stay indoors and not take to the roads unless necessary after gusts of up to 73mph (117km/h) were recorded in Cornwall overnight.

Cornwall Fire and Rescue Service issued the advice and said it was also dealing with a number of incidents across the county.

In Bude, Crooklets Road is closed following parts of the Sainsbury's roof coming off on Sunday evening.

Two crews were sent, cordoning off the area. Cornwall Council's emergency management team has sent a dangerous structure engineer to the store.

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Hundreds of homes in Devon and Cornwall are without power.

There are reports of fallen trees blocking a number of roads in Cornwall.

The A377 at Umberleigh, in Devon, has been closed by a landslip and several large fallen trees.

The Met Office's weather warning for Storm Atiyah will remain in place until 09:00.

Devon Olympian receives medal from 2014 Winter Olympics

Daniel Clark

Local Democracy Reporting Service

A Devon Olympian has finally received his bronze medal from the Sochi Winter Olympics.

The quarter of John Jackson, Bruce Tasker, Stuart Benson and Joel Fearon initially finished fifth in the four-man bobsleigh in the 2014 Winter Olympics in Sochi.

But two Russian crews, who finished ahead of them, have since been disqualified for doping offences lifting the British team into third place.

The quartet officially received their medals at the Team GB Ball in London at the end of November.

Mr Jackson, 42, lives in Exmouth and as a Royal Marine is based at the Lympstone Commando Training Centre.

Devon County Council’s full council meeting on Thursday began with the chairman of the council congratulating Jackson on his medal.

The bronze brings Team GB’s medal tally from Sochi 2014 to five after Lizzy Yarnold’s skeleton gold, Jenny Jones’ snowboard slopestyle bronze, and silver and bronze medals for the men’s and women’s curling rinks respectively, and means it is Team GBs most successful ever Winter Olympics.

Council spends £400k reacting to Devon flooding

Daniel Clark

Local Democracy Reporting Service

Wet weather in November has cost Devon County Council more than £400,000 in reacting to flooding across the county.

This year is the fifth wettest autumn on record.

Most areas of the UK suffered torrential downpours over the season, but none more than Holne on the southern edge of Dartmoor, where 899mm of rain fell in the autumn.

Councillor Stuart Hughes, cabinet member for Highway Management, told Thursday’s full council: "As of 25 November, the council received over 326 public reports of flooding for the month, including reacting to 394 call outs, at least a third of which appeared to be due to standing water/flooding."

Dino Visser was making only his second appearance in English football

Dino Visser saves all three penalties to help Exeter reach the EFL Trophy last 16, while Ipswich, Bristol Rovers, Tranmere and Leicester's Under-21s also progress.

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More than 200 entries submitted to marine photo competition

Sardines and Gulls
Sam Mansfield

A marine photographic competition has celebrated the beauty of Devon and Cornwall's coasts and seas.

More than 200 photographs were submitted to the Exeter Marine competition in just two weeks.

Exeter Marine is made up of researchers at the city's university.

Entrants were asked to submit images of maritime landscapes, marine wildlife, underwater worlds and the diverse people that depend on the coastal and marine world in Cornwall and Devon.

Judges chose Sam Mansfield’s photo ‘Sardines and Gulls’, which shows Cornwall's sardine fishermen casting their nets after dusk, as the winner.

Rockpool shrimp
Malcolm Nimmo
Second place - rockpool shrimp, Malcolm Nimmo

Person unaccounted for after major blaze

BBC Radio Devon

A person's unaccounted for after a major fire in Bideford which has destroyed a house.

Emergency services from across north Devon were called at about 06:00 to Coach Drive, near the main A386.

It's not yet known what caused the fire but an investigation is under way.

Met Office weather warning for South West

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A yellow weather warning for rain has been made across large parts of the South West throughout this morning.

Drivers are being warned they may face spray and reduced visibility due to downpours.

Travel disruption and surface water flooding is possible up until about midday, said the Met Office.

Severe disruption: A386 Devon both ways

BBC News Travel

A386 Devon both ways severe disruption, from A388 to Loxdown Road.

A386 Devon - A386 in Landcross blocked and it's very slow in both directions from the A388 junction to the Loxdown Road junction, because of a fallen tree.

To report traffic and travel incidents dial 0330 123 0184 at any time

Severe accident: A377 Devon both ways

BBC News Travel

A377 Devon both ways severe accident, from Village Street to B3227.

A377 Devon - A377 closed and it's very slow in both directions from the Village Street junction in Bishops Tawton to Rising Sun Hotel in Umberleigh, because of an accident involving two vehicles.

To report traffic and travel incidents dial 0330 123 0184 at any time

Serious sex assault in Exeter

St Germans Road
Google

A young woman was the victim of a serious sexual assault in Exeter, police said.

The woman, in her late teens, was in the St Germans Road area of the city near the university when she was attacked between 02:00 and 04:00 on Wednesday.

Det Insp Dawn Perriam said: “This is a rare and isolated incident. I would like to reassure the public that police are pursuing all lines of enquiry.”

Police said the suspect was described as being in his mid to late 20s, tall and slim with short, dark hair and stubble.

He spoke broken English, had an eastern-European accent and was wearing dark, navy blue jeans with a belt and a dark top which was believed to be grey or black.

Anyone with any information is asked to contact police by calling 101, or emailing 101@dc.police.uk.

Severe weather warning issued in south west

The Met Office has issued a severe weather warning for tomorrow evening, with 20-30mm of rain expected to fall within three to four hours.

The yellow warning for rain stretches from 17:00 GMT to 23:59 GMT and is likely to affect drivers during tomorrow evening's rush hour.

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South West unemployment lower than UK average

BBC Business News

South West unemployment figures
BBC

Some 2.6% of “economically active” people - those aged over 16 - in the South West of England were unemployed in the three months to September, latest figures show.

The figure is lower than the UK figure of 3.8%.

However, UK wage growth has slowed and the figures showed the biggest annual drop in job vacancies in nearly 10 years, according to the Office for National Statistics (ONS).

The ONS said this was down to falling numbers of people working in retail, after the collapse of several store chains and the implementation of shop closure programmes by other firms.

'Sneaky septuagenarian' drove for 50 years without licence

Andrew Segal

BBC South West

A so-called "sneaky septuagenarian" who had driven for more than 50 years without a licence has been caught after being in a road crash in Devon, police say.

Devon and Cornwall Police said officers were called to a crash involving a car and a van on the A38 at Uffculme at about 21:10 on Tuesday 5 November.

The 72-year-old man driving the van was "subsequently reported to court for driving without a licence and no insurance".

Officers from the Road Policing Team tweeted after they were called to the crash how "alas, all good things must come to an end" when the collision "finally revealed one mid-Devon man's secret to us".