Weather warning as Bella set to hit South Hams

By Jake Chown  
Thursday 24th December 2020 1:50 pm
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Residents are being warned of danger from large waves. Picture credit: Andy Horton ()

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The South Hams is being warned to brace for Storm Bella on Boxing Day as the Met Office issued an amber alert for high wind from 10pm Boxing Day until 9am on Sunday, December 27.

Motorists were warned to expect longer journey times and cancellations as road, rail, air and ferry services may be affected; some roads and bridges likely to close; probably some damage to buildings, such as tiles blown from roofs; flying debris is likely and could lead to injuries or danger to life.

A Met Office spokesperson also stated: “Injuries and danger to life is likely from large waves and beach material being thrown onto coastal roads, sea fronts and properties. There is a good chance that power cuts may occur, with the potential to affect other services, such as mobile phone coverage.”

Devon County Council also warned that following the recent downpours, tonight’s cold snap could create icy patches on Christmas morning.

With road surface temperatures expected to drop below -3°C by Christmas morning, gritting teams will be salting from this afternoon and overnight. Freezing roads are likely to be present in the county from 6pm this evening until 10am tomorrow morning, with any ice that forms, potentially lingering after that.

Storm Bella is expected to hit Devon on Boxing Day, with the Met Office issuing an amber severe weather warning for strong winds and a yellow warning for heavy rain from around 6pm until the following morning. Parts of the county could be hit by gusts of up to 80mph which could cause travel disruption.

Councillor Stuart Hughes, Devon County Council Cabinet Member for Highway Management, said: “We have had some atrocious weather conditions in the past few weeks and there is a lot of surface water around and runoff from fields which could potentially become icy on Christmas morning, particularly on untreated routes. However, you have to remember that ice can still form on treated surfaces.

“We would hope that people are keeping it local this Christmas anyway, but even short journeys could be challenging tomorrow morning. And with strong winds forecast on Boxing Day there could be a chance that trees on saturated ground could be blown onto the highway. I would remind people to drive according to conditions and, however you’re travelling, please take extra care and stay safe this Christmas.”

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