Flash flood sweeps through Coverack in Cornwall

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Media captionFootage sent to BBC News from Coverack shows water sweeping through the village

Flash flooding has seen torrents of water sweep through a Cornish village.

Residents in Coverack, on the Lizard Peninsula, have reported roads being blocked and hailstones the size of 50 pence pieces smashing windows.

Heavy rainfall hit at about 15:00 BST and the coastguard airlifted two people trapped in a house. Four people remained in the building.

Emergency services have asked people to avoid the area and not attempt to drive through any flood water.

Cornwall Fire and Rescue Service said its crews were attending “multiple flooding-related incidents” and urged people to “avoid this area”.

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Gloria Knight

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Gloria Knight, who lives on a hill above Coverack, said her garden became ‘like a waterfall’

A spokeswoman for the Maritime and Coastguard Agency said a helicopter was sent from Newquay.

She said: “Six people were in a house and two have been rescued from the house by helicopter.”

Karla Wainwright, who works at the Paris Hotel, said: “This afternoon we could tell it was going to get about stormy, then about 3pm it hit.

“There were hailstones as big as 50p pieces and a lot of small panes in our windows are broken.”

Ms Wainwright said the storm continued for an hour and a half.

“Once it cleared off then we could see a massive flood of water coming down the main way into Coverack.”

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Water ran through the village before crashing over cliffs and into the sea

Bill Magill, who owns the nearby White Hart hotel, said the water was “over a foot high” in some areas.

“It was nothing like I’ve ever known in this area, we were totally unprepared for it and it was totally unexpected,” he said.

“[It was] racing down a little country lane, pouring over the banks like these waterfalls.”

‘Cut in half’

The Met Office said the flood followed heavy thunderstorms and rain in Cornwall and Devon on Tuesday afternoon.

Bill Frisken, a local councillor in Coverack, said he could not access the centre of the village because the main road is underwater.

Describing the speed with which the flood hit, he said: “It was almost instantaneous.”

“The village has effectively been cut in half, you can’t cross the river,” he added.

Mr Frisken said he and his wife had to bail water out of their kitchen, while their garage was also flooded.

“It was several feet of water coming down and pouring into the house. The depth of water was immense.”

Another witness said: “I have never seen such big hails. The sun was shining and the wind was blowing and it was hailing, all at the same time.

“It was quite amazing really.”

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