Perilous Times and Climate Change
Heavy rain and gales spark fierce floods, landslides in SW England
The Associated Press
Wednesday, November 17, 2010; 6:26 AM
LONDON -- Heavy rain and gales sparked fierce floods and landslides in
southwest England Wednesday, disrupting travel and trapping people in
Police said they are dealing with a "major incident," with flooding in
several areas of the coastal county of Cornwall.
Devon and Cornwall Police said parts of the towns of St. Austell and
St. Blazey were impassable, and people had been trapped in cars and
Barry Green, owner of a bakery in the riverside town of Lostwithiel,
said floodwaters had risen rapidly.
"One minute I was making bread, the next I was wading waist high
through muddy water," he said. "We've had people coming in to help but
it's pretty much destroyed the shop."
The Maritime and Coastguard agency said two search-and-rescue
helicopters had been scrambled to help people trapped in cars, and more
emergency workers were on standby amid reports of water 5 feet (1.5
meters) deep in places. There were no immediate reports of injuries.
All rail services to Cornwall were suspended after a landslide blocked
Cornwall has experienced severe floods before, most recently in 2004,
when the town of Boscastle suffered major damage when flash floods sent
a wall of water pouring through the streets.