Firefighters busy with rescues
PUBLISHED: 12:43 06 November 2008 | UPDATED: 09:58 10 June 2010
FLASH flooding across East Devon on Wednesday sparked a busy night of rescues for local fire crews. At 3am, on Thursday, October 30, Exmouth firefighters were called to Metcombe, near Tipton St John, to rescue a man trapped in his car. An hour later, the
FLASH flooding across East Devon on Wednesday sparked a busy night of rescues for local fire crews.At 3am, on Thursday, October 30, Exmouth 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 on Thursday, after homes were surrounded by floodwater.Exmouth and Budleigh Salterton fire crews led residents to safety in neighbouring homes.Pensioners forced to leave their homes were led to waiting ambulances and given blankets and thermal suits to keep warm.Shortly before 7am on Thursday, 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 on Thursday twice visited Granary Lane, 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 took inflatable walkways to Hele at 10.30am, on Thursday, where an elderly couple were 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 spoke to an Otterton man who had lived in the village for 18 years. He said he'd never seen anything like it - 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.Newton Poppleford householders rallied round to help flooding victims.A burst main under a swollen stream had left some homes without water, but, by lunchtime on Thursday, all properties had supplies restored.With Back Brook bursting its banks as well as the River Otter flooding, people at the northern end of Exeter Road, as well as Venn Ottery Road, were affected."It has all happened before," said parish council chairman Bryan Woodley, whose own yard at The Falls was under threat.He said ground floors had been ruined but people had good neighbours in the village who were looking after those in trouble.