Highways teams continue to work to get Devon moving again following the gale forces winds that hit the region on Friday.
Friday morning and early afternoon represented the ‘peak’ of Storm Eunice in Devon, with wind speeds recorded of up to 100mph in places.
And on Friday evening the temperatures fell and gritters were out in force with all the gritting routes treated
A Red Wind Warning had been issued by the Met Office for Northern Devon and an Amber Wind Warning for the rest of the county.
And while over the weekend wind speeds slowed, 150 highways officers, contractors and more than 70 tree surgeons continue to clear debris including rocks, trees, and tree branches from minor roads.
The winds caused major disruption to services and travellers. Since Friday, the Network Operations Control Centre has received almost 1300 calls.
Over the weekend trees were brought down at numerous places including at Half Moon, Lapford, Chulmleigh and Cowley Bridge, and on Friday at Barrack Road, Exeter.
The northern end of the A39 was blocked multiple times over the course of the weekend with large trees at Shirwell, Lynton, Watersmeet while the A396 Stoke Canon blocked on Friday and again Saturday.
And the A396 Bampton/Cove area was also blocked multiple times over Saturday and Sunday by large trees. Roads including at Exmouth, Topsham, Kingsbridge, Kingskerswell, Northam and Woolacombe were closed for periods because of fallen or loose roofing materials and chimneys.
Western Power Distribution confirmed as of this morning there were 11,000 homes across Devon and Cornwall without power which they are hoping to restore today.
Taw Bridge in Barnstaple is now open and most of the county’s recycling centres re-opened on Saturday.
However, because of the high winds four centres were temporarily closed this morning. These are: Sidmouth Recycling Centre, Pinbrook Road Recycling Centre, Exton Road Recycling Centre and Punchbowl Recycling Centre.
Councillor Stuart Hughes, Devon County Council’s Cabinet Member for Highway Management, said:
“Once again I would like to praise all the staff that worked so hard over the weekend to help get Devon moving again and this is largely because we were well prepared. We knew the storm was coming and prepared accordingly by increasing resources, and that helped reduce the impact.
“Wind speeds are slowing down as we speak, but a significant amount of debris remains on the roads. While the majority of the main routes have been cleared Devon does have 8,000 miles of roads and some of the minor routes are still blocked. We have drafted in extra teams to clear them but this will take time, so please continue to drive carefully, plan your journey, leave extra time and check for @DevonAlert updates.”
Please go to the recycling centres page on Devon County Council’s website for updates.