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PM: We are 'bringing all resources to bear' to fix track

The Prime Minister has said that the government is "bringing all our resources to bear" to repair the train track at Dawlish, which links Cornwall and parts of Devon with the rest of the country.

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PM at #Dawlish: We are bringing all our resources to bear to make sure the route can be up and running http://t.co/1Uf0A9sY7n

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Watch: Engineers cut storm-battered Dawlish rail track

Prime Minister visits wrecked rail track in Dawlish

The Prime Minister is continuing his visit to the South West today and is surveying a section of train track that was destroyed by large waves at Dawlish in Devon.

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In Dawlish to see how Network Rail are rebuilding the track wrecked by recent storms. http://t.co/mpoX3brZdt

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Read: Government must show flood victims it is on top of crisis

Pictures: Shipping containers provide flood defence at Dawlish

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Cornwall and Devon are still 'open for business'

While some areas remain under water many others are dry and ready for tourists VisitEngland's chief executive has stressed.

We are naturally greatly concerned for all whose livelihoods have been affected by the recent bad weather.

Cornwall and Devon are very much open for business and whilst the Somerset Levels have been badly hit, nine-tenths of the county is unaffected.

As is characteristic of the tourism industry, businesses are rising to the challenge. Some hotels in Cornwall, for example, are being enterprising and sending cars to Exeter to pick up guests whose trains can go no further.

– James Berresford, VisitEngland chief executive

Strong winds bring flooding risk to Devon and Dorset

Large waves and strong winds are threatening to cause further significant flooding along the Devon and Dorset coasts tomorrow where some communities and defences are vulnerable after this week’s storms.

Portland Beach Road near Weymouth in Dorset saw strong winds and high tides push water inland earlier this week.
Portland Beach Road near Weymouth in Dorset saw strong winds and high tides push water inland earlier this week. Credit: Andrew Matthews/PA Wire

Further heavy rainfall is expected starting this evening continuing into Saturday, exacerbating the risks of flooding from rivers and surface water across the south west, central and south east of England.

Chair of the agency Lord Smith said: "This weekend will see no respite in the extreme weather and I urge people especially in southern England to be prepared for further flooding and to sign up to Environment Agency flood warnings.”

Find out more on the Environment Agency website

Transport Secretary surveys storm damage in Dawlish

Transport Secretary Patrick McLoughlin has visited the Devonshire town of Dawlish where a storm on Tuesday undermined a large section of the track.

Transport Secretary Patrick McLoughlin visits Dawlish train station in Devon
Transport Secretary Patrick McLoughlin visits Dawlish train station in Devon

Read: Govt pushes for lower train fares for flood victims

Transport Secretary Patrick McLoughlin surveys the damage
Transport Secretary Patrick McLoughlin surveys the damage
A large section track has been undermined by large waves
A large section track has been undermined by large waves

Read: Huge waves destroy railway line in Dawlish

Govt pushes for lower train fares for flood victims

Train companies should lower fares to help people affected by the floods, Transport Secretary Patrick McLoughlin has said.

A huge length of railway track is exposed and left hanging after the sea wall collapsed in Dawlish
A huge length of railway track is exposed and left hanging after the sea wall collapsed in Dawlish Credit: Ben Birchall/PA Wire

"People's rail travel is getting affected. I want train companies to help them by reducing their fares," he said, Inspecting the devastating damage to rail tracks at Dawlish in Devon.

McLoughlin denied the Government had been slow to respond to the flooding but recognised that people "were angry", adding he was hopeful Network Rail would keep their promise of repairing the destruction at Dawlish, that has severely disrupted south-west England train services, in around six weeks.

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Transport Secretary to survey destroyed railway track

Transport Secretary Patrick McLoughlin will visit the Devonshire town of Dawlish later today to see "what needs to be done" to the railway line that has been wrecked by the floods.

Read: Huge waves destroy railway line in Dawlish

Part of the railway line undermined by the sea at Dawlish in Devon
Part of the railway line undermined by the sea at Dawlish in Devon Credit: Ben Birchall/PA Wire

"It will be an opportunity for the Secretary of State to discuss the response with the local communities there," the spokesman added.

Read: Environment Agency 'putting birds before humans'

Farmer: 'It's desperate with nowhere to keep cattle'

The cattle are being moved in convoy higher ground.
The cattle are being moved in convoy higher ground. Credit: ITV News/ Jonathan Wald

Moorlands farmer, James Windslade, is transporting 300-400 cattle in a convoy from flooded farmland to higher ground so that he can sell them to an abattoir.

Windslade said: "it's a desperate situation. We have nowhere to farm these animals. We have to sell them."

The convoy transporting the cattle to higher ground.
The convoy transporting the cattle to higher ground. Credit: ITV News/ Jonathan Wald

30 people evacuated as high seas hit Dawlish

Around 30 people had to be evacuated from their homes on the seafront in Dawlish, according to a Devon County Councillor.

The undermined section of the railway in Dawlish, Devon
The undermined section of the railway in Dawlish, Devon Credit: ITV News West Country

John Clatworthy said the undermining of the railway track had not been seen in more than a century: "The railway was built in around the 1850s and there had been two breaches before now, around 150 years ago. The storm last night was unbelievable.

"It is not just Dawlish that is affected, this railway line is to Plymouth, the naval bases, Cornwall - it is a lifeline.

"Something needs to be done and it is not just a five minute job."

Homes evacuated as waves batter Torcross seafront

Homes were evacuated on the seafront at Torcross in Devon as the high tide smashed the fronts of four properties.

A spokesman for South Hams District Council said:

The properties were evacuated because there was danger from broken glass and further damage caused by the breaking rollers.

We also have unconfirmed reports that there may be a breach in the sea defences and that the rebuilt road in front of Slapton Ley is threatened.

We are awaiting reports back from our engineer at the scene.

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