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Southwest England lashed by floods

by Staff Writers
London (AFP) Nov 17, 2010
British emergency services were dealing with what they called "major flooding" in the county of Cornwall on Wednesday after heavy rain left many people trapped in their homes.

The overnight downpours also triggered a landslide which blocked the train line linking England's most southwesterly county to the rest of Britain.

The Eden Project ecological complex, one of Britain's top visitor attractions, was forced to close due to the flooding in the area.

There were no known casualties or reports of serious injuries so far.

The local Devon and Cornwall police force said it was dealing with a "major flooding incident".

Areas of some towns "are impassable and people have been trapped in their cars and homes", it said.

"The rain has now stopped but there is still very deep flood water in certain areas."

Besides the landslide cutting off the train route into Cornwall, a picturesque county heavily dependent on its tourist industry, some of the main roads into the county were partially closed.

Resident Rose Schofield, who lives near the town of St Austell, one of those worst hit, called the flooding "absolutely horrendous".

"The river has come right through the village -- two to three feet (60 to 90 centimetres) in places.

"It's just mad, absolutely crazy. We've just seen some people rescued in a boat in the centre of the village."

The Met Office national weather service said as much as 50 millimetres (two inches) of rain fell in one part of Cornwall overnight.

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