Torquay seafront shuts as floods hit South West

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Media captionThere are fears of a repeat of the flooding which hit the South West last year

Torquay seafront has been closed as torrential rain which caused floods in Cornwall moved towards Devon.

The Environment Agency had 17 flood alerts in place across both counties on Monday evening.

Emergency services fought flooding at properties in Mevagissey and Roche in Cornwall. Sewage has been reported on roads in Par.

Cornwall Council said staff would be on standby in case of any incidents overnight.

'Protect yourself'

Monday saw 35mm (1.4ins) of rain at Heligan over two hours on Monday afternoon; and more than 50mm (2ins) at Cardinham, on Bodmin Moor, over 17 hours, the Environment Agency said.

It has issued flood alerts around the River Tamar, St Austell and Par, west Cornwall and along the south Devon coast at Beesands, Torcross, Slapton, Torbay and Dawlish.

A flood alert for the River Dart area means flooding is possible in Totnes, Ashburton, Buckfastleigh, Dartmouth and Torbay, the agency said.

Flooding is also possible for the rivers Avon, Erme and Harbourne, as well as coastal streams from Bigbury to Dartmouth, Kingsbridge, South Brent and Ivybridge, it added.

The agency has issued advice on how to prepare for flooding, including switching off gas and electricity supplies.

On Monday afternoon about four miles (6.4km) of traffic queues were reported along a stretch of the westbound A30, between Exeter's A377 Alphington Junction and the B3260 to Okehampton, because of surface water.

Image caption The Ship Inn in Mevagissey had to ask its customers to leave

Drivers were also warned of flooding and surface water on the A38 in Liskeard around the A390 junction and between the A389 junction in Wadebridge and the B3266 junction in Camelford.

Strong winds and high tides in south Devon also increased the risk of localised flooding in coastal areas.

Tidal gates were closed at Beesands in south Devon, Sutton Harbour in Plymouth, Polperro in south-east Cornwall and Copperhouse in Hayle, near St Ives in west Cornwall.

Rain threatened to flood properties in Tremodrett Road and Fore Street in Roche, Cornwall, but only one house needed pumping out, the fire service said.

Sewage on roads

The Ship Inn in Mevagissey and nearby properties in Chapel Road were also affected.

Kim Barker, from the inn, said: "Within 10 minutes, there was eight to 10ins of water.

"Everyone had to leave. It wasn't as bad as last time, but the biggest thing is the loss of trade."

Residents in St Blazey Road, Par, reported raw sewage rolling down road after manhole covers were lifted by the force of flooding.

South West Water said engineers were prioritising cases and apologised for any delays.

Cornwall Council said it received more than 320 calls over eight hours, about 160 of which related to surface water flooding and blocked drains.

About 100 workers responded to incidents throughout the county, the council said.

Homes and businesses were badly affected last year by flooding.

Mevagissey, Lostwithiel, St Blazey and St Austell were among the worst-hit areas as about 230 homes and 400 businesses in Cornwall were hit by flooding on 17 November.

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