Exmouth fire crews battle through the night against extreme weather conditions

PUBLISHED: 12:03 30 October 2008 | UPDATED: 09:54 10 June 2010

FLASH flooding across East Devon sparked a busy night of rescues for crews from Exmouth fire station.

FLASH flooding across East Devon sparked a busy night of rescues for crews from Exmouth fire station.

At 3am firefighters were called to Metcombe, near Tipton St John, to rescue a man trapped in his car.

An hour later the crew was in West Hill to tow Sidmouth's fire engine which had skidded off the icy road.

Up to 50 properties were evacuated at Feniton from 5am this morning, after homes in the Wells Avenue area of the village were surrounded by floodwater.

Exmouth and Budleigh Salterton fire crews led residents to safety to neighbouring homes which had opened their doors in what was described by one firefighter as ' true blitz spirit'.

Local pensioners forced to leave their homes were led to waiting ambulances and given blankets and thermal suits to wear to keep warm.

Shortly before 7am this morning the Exmouth crew rescued a man stuck on the roof of his floating car in Frogmore Road, East Budleigh.

A 94-year-old man trapped in his home by floodwater in Otterton was led to a neighbour's home by firefighters.

The fire service has today twice visited Granary Lane, in Budleigh Salterton, turning off the electrics in the many homes affected by floodwater.

An elderly man trapped in the bedroom of his Newton Poppleford home was taken to hospital shortly before 10am as a precaution against the cold.

Exmouth firefighters at 10.30am took inflatable walkways to Hele where an elderly couple was trapped on the roof of their car, which was stranded in running floodwater.

An hour later the crews took mud mats and rescue equipment to Bradninch, rescuing people trapped in their homes by floodwater.

Exmouth watch commander Stefan Clark said: "I was speaking to an Otterton man who's lived in the village for 18 years. He said he'd never seen anything like it.

"Our 4x4 vehicle was able to go to places other vehicles couldn't get to - at times we were going through five feet of water."

Devon fire control received in excess of 150 calls to reports of widespread flooding in Ottery St Mary, Whimple, Talaton, Feniton, Newton Poppleford, Awliscombe, West Hill, Cadhay and Rockbeare.

The fire crews were hampered by extreme weather conditions which made the roads impassable to some areas.

Conditions included deep snow and floodwater.

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