The Environment Agency's incident room remains in operation with flood risk experts monitoring the situation closely and advising emergency services. Agency experts contributed to briefing the deputy prime minister John Prescott when he visited Boscastle this morning. The Environment Agency's director of water management also visited the area to inspect the damage, accompanied by the agency's SW regional director. The Environment Agency's flood defence emergency workforce in the area are assisting emergency services.
Flood warning information is available 24hrs on the website or by telephoning the Agency's Floodline 0845 988 1188.
Information is regularly broadcast on:
BBC Radio Cornwall
Pirate FM102 East
BBC TV SW
ITV West country - SW
Flood Warnings are currently in force for:
River Camel from Camelford to Wadebridge
River Neet from Woolstone Mill to Bude
River Ottery from Canworthy Water to Werrington
River Strat from Bush to Helebridge
Devon and Cornwall Police have issued the following telephone number to the public for emergency enquiries 01392 451130
MARITIME AND COASTGUARD AGENCY press release folows
Urgent calls to Falmouth Coastguard at about 3.45pm yesterday
alerted the marine emergency service to rising flood water at
Boscastle in North Cornwall. The report suggested that the river had
risen six or seven feet within the last hour, and that coupled with high
water and torrential rain was making the situation more serious
around the harbour area of the town.
Boscastle Coastguard Rescue Team were immediately called out with the
situation deteriorating locally. Roads were blocked and cut off and a
full scale emergency response was put into place with the local
police taking prime responsibility.
Further coastguard teams from Bude and Port Isaac were also been
called in. Fire service teams were also involved bringing people
to dry land. Two in shore lifeboats were also called in from Bude and
Port Isaac to assist.
Shortly after a report was made of the stone footbridge being washed
away and two further buildings also having collapsed.
Various reports were made during the course of the late afternoon and
early evening that individuals were on the roofs of local buildings
including the local visitor centre and that up to 30 cars had been
washed into the harbour. High water in the area was at 10 minutes to
seven last night.
Seven aircraft including a Coastguard helicopter; three Royal Navy
helicopters and two RAF helicopters have now been used to pick people
from the rising water and they have all been deposited at the
Boscastle football pitch or the village hall which remain above the
water. All power was switched off into the village earlier during the
incident to prevent further accidents.
There were no reports of serious injuries but people have been
spotted in upstairs windows and on roofs.
SEVERE FLOODS HIT SOUTHWEST ENGLAND
Heavy, thundery downpours developed by midday across SW England
on Monday. These showers formed bands which aligned themselves with the
wind helping to maintain the heavy rain across certain areas of North
Cornwall for several hours. The trigger mechanisms for these storms
appears to be convergence of winds along the coast and the high
ground in the local area which also helped to generate showers. It
would appear that the serious nature of these floods has been
exacerbated by the local topography around Boscastle.
Bands of showers forming in this manner is not unusual, but the
intensity and persistence of these that resulted in such flooding is
The forecast was for heavy, often torrential downpours developing
through the day, but the exact location of where these would develop
is always problematic.
Forecasters, using radar and ground-based rain gauges, were able to
give further warnings as these showers formed through the afternoon.
The heavy showers was expected to slowly die out through the evening
and overnight, but further rain is expected in the southwest through
The highest rainfall totals for the day so far are for
Slaughterbridge in Cornwall, which has received 74.5mm so far today.
(Around 60mm of which fell in around 2 hours) - more is expected
through the next few hours.
The average monthly rainfall for that area in August is 100-120mm
over the high ground in that area, with 70-90mm at lower levels
around Boscastle itself.
Other similar serious flooding events that have occurred in the past
July 1955 Martinstown Dorset (279.4mm in 24 hrs)
June 1917 Bruton, Somerset (242.8mm in 24hrs)
August 1924 Cannington, Somerset (238.8mm in 24 hrs)
August 1952 Lynmouth, Devon (229.5mm in 24 hrs)
June 1957 Camelford, Cornwall (203.2mm in 24hrs)