Exeter: A history of flooding
THE River Exe has been high several times over the last 12 months, the second wettest year on record.
But the existing flood defences held firm – unlike Black Thursday, on October 27, 1960, when Cowick Street became a river. Houses were flooded to a depth of six feet after Exeter had in excess of 380mm of rain – half the annual average – in a month.
The water initially came down Okehampton Street and Alphington Street before Cowick Street started to fill up.
Since then there have been years when the city has been close to another flood.
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In November 2000, the Exe breached its banks in a few isolated spots in the city and was inches away from overflowing at Exe Bridges and the quay.
There followed warnings from the Environment Agency that the sort of floods which only happened once every 50 years when the city’s flood defences were built, would now be expected once every 10 years and so the defences would be tested much more often.
They were severely tested just before last Christmas when the Exe flowing into and past the Mill on the Exe made the national news.
See below for videos of how the floods have hit Exeter in recent times.
2012 flooding in Dawlish
2012 Grand Western Canal breaks banks:
2012 Devon after the rain
2012 Helicopter footage shows extent of the flood damage