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Town so close to repeat of ruinous flood

By Cornish Guardian  |  Posted: November 30, 2012

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HIGH TIDE:  Removing flood debris from Lostwithiel bridge.

HIGH TIDE: Removing flood debris from Lostwithiel bridge.

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HISTORY threatened to repeat itself as Lostwithiel stood upon the brink of a repeat of the devastating floods of 2010.

Camera crews and news teams descended upon the town last weekend gathering at the medieval bridge poised to capture the expected bursting of the river banks but, this time around the town escaped almost unscathed.

Three properties experienced flooding from oozing surface water along Quay Street but most of the town was unaffected.

Deja Vu Antiques kept people updated on social networking website Twitter, posting: "Lostwithiel is fully open for business, all the car parks are open, all the shops, pubs, restaurants and services."

John Pegg, Lostwithiel town councillor and part of the Lostwithiel Community Flood Group said: "It was pretty hairy for a time, when the severe flood warning was issued it was like they'd announced Armageddon, we've never had that level of warning before. There was a request to open the community centre as a rescue centre.

"We stayed at the bridge until the tide turned, the pressure of the flow was colossal and water actually began to bubble up through the tarmac. It got to about 11 inches from the top of the wall, if it had gone over we would have had some serious problems on our hands.

"The emergency services were brilliant and were knocking on the doors of houses in danger of being affected should the water have continued to rise. I think they were also grateful of the amount of local knowledge on hand from the town's flood wardens."

Fowey was hit harder but still came out largely unaffected.

Rising floodwater brought the largest disruption at Cornish Market World which had to close its doors and cease trading on Sunday due to a flooded car park.

David Perellet, who was holding the first Par Auctions sale over the weekend, said: "Total disaster was only avoided by the professional approach of the hard-working staff of Cornish Market World who managed to defend the building against all odds from the raging waters."

Elsewhere a family on their way to a christening had to be assisted after losing power to their car when driving through floodwater on the A3082 between Fowey and Polmear. Kind passers-by stopped to help and drove the pair to the station to meet relatives.

For our picture special on the flooding across the region, see pages 34-37.

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