'Lessons can be learned' from floods in Cornwall

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Flooding in Lostwithiel
Image caption,
The flooding caused widespread disruption to Cornwall's transport network

More could have been done to warn people in Cornwall about the risk of flooding, a minister has said.

Heavy rain hit parts of the county on 17 November, with people trapped in by rising floodwater which reached 6ft (2m) in places.

Environment Secretary Caroline Spelman said it was hard to predict surface water flooding, but she accepted there were "lessons to be learned".

The minister was responding to a question by local MP Stephen Gilbert.

Warden alerts

About 230 homes and 400 businesses were affected by the flooding, with Mevagissey, Lostwithiel, St Blazey and St Austell among the worst hit areas.

No-one was seriously injured, but residents had to be evacuated, schools were closed and the transport network was badly disrupted.

Ms Spelman said: "In the afternoon of that event, there was only a 20% risk of severe flooding.

"By 2230 it had increased to an 80% risk - when most people were in bed and asleep."

She said one of the lessons learned was that wardens should knock on doors to alert vulnerable residents of any increased risk of flooding.

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