Eye on the storm
PUBLISHED: 01:01 20 March 2008 | UPDATED: 08:54 10 June 2010
EXMOUTH, Budleigh Salterton and surrounding villages were battered by winds of more than 80mph on Sunday night which brought down trees and caused flooding. Hundreds of people in Exmouth were woken in the early hours of Monday morning by the storm when
EXMOUTH, Budleigh Salterton and surrounding villages were battered by winds of more than 80mph on Sunday night - which brought down trees and caused flooding.Hundreds of people in Exmouth were woken in the early hours of Monday morning by the storm when high winds and heavy rain hammered homes, caused structural damage and scattered branches and debris across gardens, roads and pavements.Budleigh Salterton, Otterton, Lympstone and Topsham were also hit hard as East Devon was put on high alert following severe weather warnings from experts at the Met Office. The Met office said: "The storm developed in the mid-Atlantic over the weekend, driven by a very strong jet stream pushing across the Atlantic from Canada. "The jet stream is a ribbon of very strong winds high up in the atmosphere and this very strong jet stream allowed the low to develop very quickly, pushing into the UK, bringing with it the strong winds."As the low crossed the country, the strongest winds were on the southern side of the low pressure centre, with gusts along the south coast peaking between 70 and 80 mph."In Exmouth, severe gales brought down trees in Bradham Lane and Trefusis Terrace. A fallen tree blocking Hulham Road resulted in Monday morning rush-hour misery as traffic tailed back into Exmouth along Exeter Road when drivers were forced to forfeit routes across the common.Specialist tree surgeons spent most of the day removing the fallen tree.A tree came down on The Green at Budleigh Salterton and another close to the golf club. Trees and broken branches also fell in Tedstone Lane, Lympstone, Fore Street, Otterton, Newton Poppleford, Clyst St Mary and at Exmouth Town Football Club.Football club secretary Alison Lee said: "The tree was totally uprooted and fell onto the wire fence, leaving a 6ft ditch from the tarmac path." A large trampoline took off from a garden in Bedlands, Budleigh Salterton - ending up in the road. The threat of torrential rain in Budleigh prompted shop owners to pile up sandbags to protect their businesses from floodwater as it coursed along Fore Street.In Exmouth, Victoria Road and St Andrew's Road were worst hit by floodwater. Exmouth fire station green watch commander Steve Johncock and his crew pumped water from the basement of St Andrew's Church. "There was around three to four feet of water," he said.Flooding also hit Strand Gardens. Woolworths, in The Parade, was closed because of floodwater.The River Otter burst its banks at White Bridge, forcing the closure of the road. Oil Mill Lane, in Clyst St Mary, and Holman Way in Topsham were flooded after drains became blocked with water.As gales roared in from the Atlantic, people living in Exmouth were warned to stay away from the seafront because of strong winds combined with spring high tides. In Budleigh, people living on the seafront and clifftop found their properties being peppered by small pebbles and pieces of sandstone.Said one resident: "It was like someone was firing pellets at the windows. The balcony resembled Budleigh beach by the end of the storm - covered in small pebbles.