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Region braced for Storm Dennis

Warnings in place from The Met Office

We're being warned that travel disruption is expected this weekend as Storm Dennis arrives.

People are being urged not to take 'storm selfies' by coastguard crews who say some people were 'incredibly lucky' after taking pics last weekend during Storm Ciara.

The Met Office have issued an amber warning for rain in South Devon for tomorrow and Sunday with a yellow weather warning for other parts of the region.

The Environment Agency say there's also a number of flood warnings in force across the region

Last week in Storm Ciara around 100 trees were blown down across Somerset and 60 across Devon.

Highways South West have Tweeted that the storm is 'going to affect all regions with strong winds & heavy rain this weekend. Please take care when travelling & consider whether your journey is necessary before setting out'.

Wind gusts of up to 70mph are forecast for coastal areas and around 50mph inland.

Up to 100mm (around 4 inches) of rain is also possible, creating a risk of widespread flooding.

Police in the South Hams in Devon Tweeted :"Take care this weekend, more water on the roads, more trees and branches down... Same amount of rescue services."

Dorset Council have warned: "The forecast wind and rain may cause further damage, especially as trees and structures may have been weakened by Storm Ciara, and the ground is saturated which may cause short-term localised flooding.

Across the region people are being urged to stay away from cliffs

Rob Sansom, Senior Coastal Operations Officer at HM Coastguard, said: "Images of people dodging waves and taking selfies during extreme weather are alarming and they are incredibly lucky that they weren't swept out to sea or injured. 

"With the arrival of Storm Dennis, especially so quickly after the last storm, the seas have been unforgiving and we cannot stress enough that piers, rocks, harbours and the water’s edge are not safe places to be when the weather is bad.

"Playing chicken with waves is extremely dangerous. 

"It can be slippery and because there is little to hold onto, even a small wave can come out of nowhere and quickly wash you off and into the sea. 

"Equally so, no photograph or selfie is worth risking your life for.

"We would urge people to think carefully about the risks they take and be extremely careful when near any body of water during bad weather."

"If you see anyone in trouble call 999 and ask for the coastguard."

Caroline Douglass, Flood Duty Manager at the Environment Agency, said "Our operations teams are also out on the ground putting up temporary flood barriers and installing mobile pumps where needed to help keep homes and businesses safe from rising river levels.

“With the effects of climate change, we are seeing more frequent periods of extreme weather. It is important for people to be aware of their flood risk and stay safe by signing up for flood warnings, making a flood plan and remembering not to drive or walk through flood water – it’s not worth the risk.”

Click play to hear the Devon County Councillor in charge of roads Stuart Hughes speaking to reporter Andrew Kay about their preparations and advice ahead of this weekend

Devon County Council has issued advice ahead of this weekend

  • Avoid overnight travel unless absolutely essential as roads will always be more hazardous at night with poorer visibility;
  • Be alert to fallen trees and branches, particularly on minor roads where they may not have been reported;
  • When the wind is at its peak, consider if your journey is really necessary, and be alert to weather warnings;
  • Never drive through floodwater or swollen flowing water, you don’t know how deep it is. Find an alternative route;
  • Allow additional time for your journey;
  • Reduce your speed and leave more space between you and the vehicle in front;
  • Drive with care and according to the conditions.

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