Dawlish deals with aftermath of flash flooding as seaside town left submerged underwater

18 September 2023, 13:58

Exeter Airport was forced to close yesterday after flash flooding
Exeter Airport was forced to close yesterday after flash flooding. Picture: social media
Kieran Kelly

By Kieran Kelly

Specialist divers were called to carry out searches in Dawlish after the seaside town became totally submerged in water following flash flooding.

Listen to this article

Loading audio...

Around half a month's worth of rain is estimated to have fallen on Sunday alone, caused the streets of Dawlish to be covered in water and closing down Exeter Airport.

The Royal National Lifeboat Institution (RNLI) were called out to the seaside town, searching for people who may be in need of assistance.

Residents were left stranded as torrents of water poured through the streets after the Dawlish Water stream burst its banks.

Local CCTV footage from Coast Cams shows water engulfing roads and pavements, with local businesses and homes completely flooded following the deluge.

The footage, shot near Dawlish seafront, shows brown floodwater engulfing Station Road shortly before 3pm on Sunday.

"Exmouth RNLI volunteers were tasked to conduct a shoreline search of Dawlish Beach following reports of major flooding in the town," a spokesperson for the RNLI said.

"This followed concerns that following heavy rainfall there was major flooding in Dawlish Town that could cause persons on the beach to become cut off by the floods and become a potential risk to life."

"Following completion of their tasking and satisfied that no persons were in danger or in need of assistance," they added.

Read More: Exeter Airport reopens after floods and cars submerged in huge downpour

Read More: Exeter Airport closed after floodwater engulfs terminal building causing chaos and grounding flights

Exeter Airport reopened on Monday morning after it was forced to close at around 2pm on Sunday due to floodwater engulfing the terminal building, causing chaos and grounding flights for the remainder of the day.

It comes after the Met Office warned of a "small chance" of a risk to people's lives as thunderstorms roll in over the South West and southern Wales.

Water could be seen surrounding luggage carousels as airport workers surveyed the scene.
Water could be seen surrounding luggage carousels as airport workers surveyed the scene. Picture: LBC / Alamy

Heavy rainfall is expected to hit the rest of the UK throughout the week, particularly between Tuesday and Friday.

Areas across the country will be hit by the remnants of Hurricane Lee, which has caused chaos in parts of the United States, though will no longer be a hurricane once it arrives.

Met Office meteorologist Jonathan Vautrey said: "It is certainly worth keeping up to date with the forecast.

"It is worth checking those things immediately before you head out on your journey so that you are aware where the most severe thunderstorms are possible.

"Make sure you are taking care as the weather could change at very short lead times and just be prepared for those gusty winds and potentially large hailstorms."