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Serious storm forecast to hit South Devon

25/10/2013

South Devon has been warned to prepare itself for the worst storm in more than two decades this weekend.

The storm, which could hit the area on Sunday, is forecast to bring winds of 90 miles per hour and around 30 millimetres of rain.

Weather watchers are warning that conditions could be even more severe than the storm of 1987 which caused chaos across the country.

The weather front, which has been named the St Jude Storm, is sweeping in from the Gulf of Mexico and across the Atlantic. It is expected to pick up pace as it heads towards the South West of the country.

The storm has been named after the patron saint of depression and lost causes and is expected to hit some time on Sunday or in the early hours of Monday.

And there is little cheer in sight in the near future with heavy rain predicted for much of next week.

Leon Brown, from The Weather Channel, said: “These winds may bring down trees and cause structural damage, so batten down the hatches. There will also be some heavy rain with 15 to 30mm likely as the low pressure system moves rapidly east.

“The detail and timing may yet change since the storm has 5000 miles to develop and spin up. We could also see double the amount of rain fall that we normally see for the entire of the month, increasing the risk of flooding in areas which are already saturated.”

The Environment Agency has also warned of flooding in the South West early next week.

Since the beginning of time, wind and trees have sustained a stormy relationship which is both constructive and destructive. Wind, one of Mother Nature's most powerful elements, is an unpredictable force which can uproot, crack, split or break tree trunks, limbs and branches.

A healthy tree is able to move (flex) in the wind, which is exactly what prevents it from breaking apart during a storm. But even the healthiest (sound) trees are susceptible to wind injury.

During strong or severe wind storms, full tree canopies can act as a sail in the wind. When wind speeds are excessive, storms can cause entire trees to uproot. This is more likely to occur when soils are wet and the tree's roots are unable to securely anchor themselves in the soil.

On the other hand, trees that are not structurally sound (trees with included bark, decay or root injury) are more likely to experience structural failures.

If you have any concerns about one of your trees or you notice some storm damage over the next few days please contact us on 01803 814126. We have a 24 hour emergency service and would be happy to assist you.

Serious storm forecast to hit South Devon