'Like a waterfall' - pictures and videos show flash flooding in Dawlish as clean-up begins

  • Local resident Ian Wood filmed the floodwater rushing into the sea

A clean-up operation has begun after torrential rain caused flash flooding in Dawlish. 

The seaside town was left submerged after heavy rain caused the Dawlish Water steam, which flows through the centre of the town, to burst its banks.

Footage shows water gushing onto Station Road shortly before 3pm on Sunday 17 September, forcing businesses to close early.

Gay's Creamery were forced to move their picnic benches to stop them being washed away by the floodwater. Credit: Ian James Wood

Sandra Gould was working in the local cornershop when the river burst its banks. 

She was supposed to be working until 8pm, but was forced to close early due to the flooding. 

She said: "The water was above my ankles by the time I got out. I locked the door and we put the floodgates up.

"It was almost like a waterfall, it was just rushing and rushing." 

Brown water could be seen rushing down the main street and into the sea. Credit: Ian James Wood

Luckily, none of the food was ruined, but the clean-up operation is still underway.

She added: "I came down this morning and helped clean it all up. It took us all morning to clean it up. 

"We've mopped and mopped and mopped, but it's still dirty." 

Water from the river flooded the green in the centre of the town. Credit: Ian James Wood.

Beth Calver is one of the managers at the nearby Gay's Creamery. 

Like Sandra, she was working when the flooding started. 

"I've never seen anything like it," she said. 

"It all happened in the space of about half an hour, and the water came up really quickly. It was definitely something to witness.

"The brook never really gets much higher than the top of the bank, but when it started going over the top, we thought, oh, this is really going to happen."

She also praised the local community for coming together to support one another in the aftermath of the flooding. 

"We've had a lot of people asking us how we're doing. It's nice to see everyone being so supportive, and to see that they care about you and want to help," she said.