STORM Antoni left Devon's highways teams with an extensive clear-up operation following around 175 calls over the weekend.
Strong winds of up to 50mph kept teams busy with call outs to more than 50 incidents of trees or branches down which were either blocking or partially blocking roads and Councillor Stuart Hughes, Devon County Council Cabinet Member for Highway Management, has thanked staff for their efforts to re-open roads as quickly as possible to keep Devon moving.
An Amber warning was issued for the storm by the Met Office ahead of its arrival on Saturday and the County Council was prepared with additional staff ready to respond to damage or disruption caused to the county’s road network. 11 teams were on call along with extra tree surgeons and the County Council’s Network Operations Control Centre was double-staffed to handle around 175 calls during the storm.
Among the areas where trees had to be cleared were:
Holne Bridge at Ashburton, A396 Bampton, A383 Bickington, A381 Bishopsteignton, Hillside at Branscombe, Ashcombe Road in Dawlish, Douglas Avenue in Exmouth, Waterloo Road in Holsworthy, A39 Parracombe, Bickwell Lane in Sidmouth, and Pound Road near Yelverton.
Councillor Stuart Hughes said: 'The damaging gusts that we experienced from Storm Antoni are rare for this time of year and it was closer to the strength of wind from a winter storm.
'Our teams were on standby to deal with any issues and they were kept busy dealing with a huge amount of trees and branches across the county that had been blown onto roads.
'There may well still be small amounts of debris on roads, or there may be blockages on minor routes which haven't been reported to us as yet so please continue to take extra care.'