Barnstaple: Flash flooding damages homes and businesses

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Flooding in BarnstapleImage source, Jack Delve
Image caption,
The rain and subsequent flash flooding started at about 15:00 BST

Homes and businesses in a Devon town have been damaged as a result of heavy rain and flash flooding.

Devon and Somerset Fire and Rescue said it had received at least 60 calls for help as a result of the downpours in Barnstaple.

One pub owner said they had been forced to paddle through half a foot of water to leave their property.

Devon and Cornwall Police have advised drivers to avoid the area.

Tracey Benson, landlady of the Golden Lion Tap, said water levels in the town had risen to about 3ft (0.9m), with water appearing just below their windows.

Drivers also abandoned their cars as traffic came to a standstill.

Image source, Shelly Williams
Image caption,
Cars were left submerged after localised showers fell on the town

Crews from the emergency services have been helping to pump water out of the affected homes.

A clean-up effort by the town council has also begun after debris and litter was left sprawled across the area.

Rob Ward, town councillor for Barnstaple, said: "You get heavy rain here, but this was extreme.

"Bins floating around and staff cars not working.

"It's such a surprise just how quick it came."

Image source, Darren Horwood
Image caption,
Crews from the emergency services have been helping people pump water from their homes

Robbie Mac, another councillor for the area, said he thought it could take weeks to get some of the properties affected back to normal.

"It's still a mess, but the water is subsiding and we're cleaning up now," he said.

Image source, Jack Delve
Image caption,
A clean-up operation is under way throughout the town