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Flooding causes chaos

By Ashbourne News Telegraph  |  Posted: November 28, 2012

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ASHBOURNE has escaped the worst of the flooding misery that has been seen in parts of the neighbouring districts, South Derbyshire and East Staffordshire - but river levels still rose to breaking point.

Across the country around 300 flood warnings were issued, many homes were flooded and unprecedented disruption was caused for motorists following a wet and windy week.

On Monday, a 17 mile stretch of the A38 was closed, leading to lengthy queues on surrounding roads for Ashbourne's commuters travelling south.

Despite several prolonged rain showers during the last week, flood defences held up along the River Dove and River Henmore and although some minor roads in the Ashbourne area were flooded, main routes largely stayed clear.  In Dovedale, the National Trust's Dovedale ranger Simon Nicholas has been wading across the swolen river each morning to free debris from the stepping stones as high winds swept branches into the water.

His efforts have meant the valley has avoided flooding entirely, although the river has still been much higher than its typical level for this time of year, engulfing the stepping stones and spilling over onto some of the footpaths.

The poor weather was also said to have caused delays to repairs to a power cut that affected 34 homes in Offcote yesterday.

Engineers had switched the electricity back on for all but nine properties in the area by late morning, but works were on-going as the News Telegraph went to press at around lunch time yesterday.  Forecasters are predicting Ashbourne will have a much drier end to the week, with winds blowing in from the north causing temperatures to fall sharply, which will lead to overnight frosts.  The cold winds could lead to the chance of a light snow fall over the weekend, especially in higher areas, and the wintry conditions could even continue into next week as the northerly winds look to be staying around. 

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