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Staycationers warned Cornwall is FULL as traffic grinds to a halt amid Bank Holiday getaway flash floods

TOURISM chiefs have warned staycationers that Cornwall is FULL after traffic today ground to a halt and the county was hit with flash floods.

Visitors without a confirmed booking have been urged to keep away for the August bank holiday weekend as roads were hit by major delays.

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Heavy downpours have left roads flooded, with a fortnight’s rain set to fall in just three hours.

Officials at Plymouth City Council in Devon described the rain as “biblical” as around three feet of water flooded some areas, leaving main roads underwater.

The disruption comes as 5.6million people get behind the wheel to make the most of the long weekend, with queues already building on the M25, as well as a number of major roads in the West Country.

Assistant Chief Constable Glen Mayhew, of Devon and Cornwall Police, urged people on their way to the coast to ‘plan ahead’.

“Planning any journey to Devon and Cornwall is hugely important,” he said.

“If you travel without booking accommodation first you are unlikely to be able to find any in the region when you arrive.”

Simon Fishwick of Visit Devon said most businesses are “experiencing high levels of bookings”.

“This is not the time to turn up on the off chance that something might be available,” he told MailOnline.

A yellow storm warning remains in place for much of southern England and South Wales, with another warning for rain covering the north east.  

Met Office officials say 40mm of rain could fall in just a few hours.

Last year’s total rainfall for the month of August was 76.7mm.

The bad weather is causing problems around the country, with flash flooding reported in the south west, Surrey, London and Glasgow.

The warning for tourists in Devon and Cornwall comes after south coast beaches were besieged with sunseekers who have decided to stay at home this summer.

During a heatwave in late June, council chiefs in Bournemouth, Dorset declared a major incident after 500,000 people flocked to the coastline.

Following the incident, the council launched a new app to alert visitors to ‘full’ beaches where safe social distancing isn’t possible.

And the resort has since had to close many of its beaches to newcomers altogether as crowds pack the sand to capacity.

But there’ll be little opportunity for sunbathing this weekend – with a washout bank holiday weekend predicted.

Forecasters also warned of 50 mile per hour gales that could cause power cuts and topple trees.

Frank Saunders, chief meteorologist at the Met Office, said: “It’ll feel quite cool despite the sunshine, as northerly winds bring below average temperatures for the time of year with highs of around 16-18C. 

“At night it’ll feel really quite chilly, with temperatures dropping to single figures for most.”

And there are even fears it could be the coldest August bank holiday for 40 years as a ‘polar plunge’ brings -1c FROST to Britain.

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