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Conditions/storm damage in southwestern England and Wales


My husband and I will be traveling to the UK in early May. Our itinerary is not finalized yet. We were interested in traveling to either southwestern England (Somerset, Devon, Cornwall) or southwestern Wales (Pembrokeshire). However, there have been terrible storms/flooding recently. Can anyone comment on the level of damage in any these places and if the areas will be ready for visitors by early May? Will also post question in the Wales forum. Thanks.

Posted by
30288 posts

I haven't been to the southwest since the storms but I know what I see on the news and as I drive locally.

The train line between Exeter and Cornwall/Devon along the sea wall has been well and truly damaged. Much of the sea wall is gone, and emergency repairs were put in by placing many shipping containers along the shore. That was destroyed in the next major storm and I saw more devastation. The train rails were simply hanging in air. I believe that it will be many months until that is repaired.

The Somerset levels are still underwater with many villages linked by amphibious military vehicles for residents. Dutch pumps and English pumps are working their hearts out but the water is going down very slowly.

Many other rivers are mostly back in their banks but there is water rising from the land as it is super saturated.

Above the rivers life is just about normal. Many flooded businesses will take a long time to recover.

Perhaps others will chip in their experiences.

Posted by
10 posts

Thank you, Nigel, for the information. Yes, I hope a few others will chip in with their experiences.

Posted by
1027 posts

The repairs at the coast railway are ahead of time, and 4April is the expected date now.
Thankfully despite the very dramatic pics the number of homes and businesses flooded was not of the order of places bejng laid waste.
At one point in the Somerset Levels being wall to wall, 54houses had actually flooded the bigger problem was road access.
I would expert very limited problems for ypur trip

Posted by
5675 posts

My colleagues from Oxford area and west seemed optimistic that things would be getting back to normal. It was amazing to hear that the train service from Oxford to Milton Park (Didcot) actually was closed down. We had a lot of staff working from home! They didn't mind the cold so much in NYC this time as at least the sun was shining!

Here's to it warming up in the eastern US, to the rain stopping in the UK and the rain starting in California!