Plymouth pub badly flooded days after finishing £100,000 refit
A POPULAR pub which had just reopened after a six-figure refit has been forced to close again – after sinking under a foot of flood water.
The Kings Arms in Tamerton Foliot was among the casualties of ferocious early-hours downpours.
Flooding was reported in all corners of the city yesterday morning – and more rain was on its way overnight.
Since the rainfall began at 2am yesterday, Devon and Somerset Fire and Rescue Service have attended nearly 450 water-related incidents.
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Parts of Tamerton Foliot and Yealmpton were described as "impassable" as the overnight deluge spilled into fields, roads and houses.
In a cruel twist of fate, Kings Arms owner Simon Warner had just spent £100,000 modernising and upgrading much of the inn. The bar had only re-opened on Friday in preparation for the busy Christmas market.
"Basically, it's written off December for us," Simon said. "We've lost that period.
"These things happen. But for the community that were looking to use The Kings Arms, it's finished."
Simon, who took over the business around a year ago, added: "I knew the rain had been bad, but I thought 'how bad can it be?'
"It was worse than I thought. At its highest there was a foot of water.
"It's left about one inch of muck and mud and we don't know if it's contaminated with anything."
Community-spirited locals in the area waded through deep water to help direct stricken drivers in the morning rush-hour.
Paul Wheeler, who spent two hours assisting motorists, said: "It was chaos, as there were no police present. We set up a chain of people to direct the flow of traffic."
Firefighters from Ivybridge were called out, and police said people were rescued from a Nissan trapped in two feet of floodwater in Old Warleigh Lane at around 4.20am.
Officers said the road was closed at the junction of Riverside Walk and Fore Street, and four houses were affected.
Firefighters were also called to Bovisand and had to divert water away from houses at Bovisand Court after a stream burst its banks.
Crews also went to Yealmpton, where they pumped out one house in Stray Park and diverted water running off the fields.
The AA said it attended 423 flood-related incidents between Plymouth and Gloucester, and more than 7,000 across the country.
Heavy rain was expected to fall on already wet or saturated areas last night, raising river levels.
Strong winds will mean wind-blown debris and fallen leaves may increase surface water flooding.
According to the Met Office, today will be very wet and very windy, potentially triggering more floods.
Winds will gust to 50 or 60 mph in many places, and 70 mph in some.
Heavy rain and gale force winds are also predicted for tomorrow and Saturday.
Council contractors were out in force yesterday clearing drains ahead of a second downpour forecast for tonight. A spokeswoman said Plymouth Transport and Highways had been out clearing gullies and culverts since the early hours.
Properties were flooded in St Peters Road, Manadon, while a sewer overflowed in Wolseley Road.
Other flooded roads included Alma Road, Paradise Road, Budshead Road, Longbrook Street, Sutton Road, Outland Road, Houndiscombe Road, Blandford Road, Southway Drive, Glen Road, Belmont Place and Temeraire Road.
Devon and Somerset Fire and Rescue Service has urged drivers not to risk their lives by driving through any floodwater.
People are asked to report incidents of flooding on Plymouth roads to Plymouth.firstname.lastname@example.org or call 01752 668000.
The Environment Agency has flood warning updates on their website, updated every 15 minutes, at www.environment-agency.gov.uk/flood or by ringing their floodline service on 08459 881188.