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19Jul

Cornwall Council working with Coverack local community to recover from devastating flash flood

Cornwall Council and partner agencies have been working around the clock to assess the needs of Coverack residents following a devastating flash flood in the village yesterday afternoon.

While last night’s efforts focussed on immediate safety of residents and holiday makers, today’s focus has moved to assessing the needs of the local community and working to repair infrastructure.  

Cornwall Council hosted a meeting for local residents and visitors at a local hotel this morning to update the community on action being taken after yesterday’s flash floods which badly affected the village, and to further assess what support is needed to help the local community return to normal as quickly as possible. 

Cornwall Council Leader Adam Paynter visited the scene this morning and spoke to local residents at the community meeting: “Thankfully no one was injured in yesterday’s incident but the devastation caused by this extreme localised flash flooding is there for all to see.  I want to pay tribute to all the emergency services who worked so tirelessly to make sure that people were rescued and kept safe.  I also want to say how much we all admire and appreciate the resilience and patience of residents and visitors to the village as we start the clean-up process. We have people on the ground from Council ready to listen to concerns and to feed those back to the recovery group which is co-ordinating action.”

If you are a resident or visitor who has been affected by flooding and need assistance or have questions  you can contact Cornwall Council’s emergency contact line - 0800 731 3247. Community Link Officers from Cornwall Council will also remain in the village for the rest of the week.

The main road in to Coverack is currently impassable with the secondary road, School Lane, single track and narrow. Traffic management has been put in place to ensure traffic flow and a local traffic plan is being put in place, including temporary parking for residents.

A digger has been brought into the village and Environment Agency teams have been brought in to clear debris from the beach and bridges and to assess the impact on waterways.

South West Water has carried out an initial assessment and confirm that there are no reported issues with mains supply drinking water however, the main sewage line has been breached which means the local streams and beach may be contaminated. Precautionary warning signs will be placed near the beach and two local streams today.

People are advised not to go near the water and if they come in contact with the water to make sure they wash their hands and follow good hygiene practices. Precautions should also be taken with regards to pets and livestock.

Anyone who gets their water from a private water supply such as a borehole, spring or well which has potentially been covered by floodwater is advised to look out for a change in water quality, such as the water becoming discoloured or there is a change in taste or smell, should assume the water is unsafe to drink unless boiled and should continue to use boiled water for drinking and bathing until the supply has been tested and shown to be safe.  

A household waste collection was due today so the Council has arranged for special collections to take place.  It is also assessing how best to remove bulky good which have been damaged and needs to be removed.

Crews from Cornwall Fire and Rescue and Community Safety Service were first mobilised into action when the first calls about flooding affecting the village were received at 15.40 yesterday afternoon and maintained a presence overnight.

The Council’s website has useful information on flood recovery http://www.cornwall.gov.uk/coverack and we will be posting updates specifically about what is happening in Coverack.

Cornwall Council has been inundated with offers from people wanting to help with the clean-up. At this stage our priority is to assess people’s needs by door knocking on every home and the best way people can help is by making a donation on Cornwall Live’s just giving page: https://www.justgiving.com/crowdfunding/CornwallLive

Unless they need to travel to Coverack, people are asked to avoid the area while recovery operations are underway.

A range of agencies and the community are working together to develop an action plan to look at longer term recovery.

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