TOURISM chiefs have warned staycationers Cornwall is FULL after traffic stopped today and the county was hit by flash floods.
Visitors without a confirmed reservation were urged to stay away for the August bank holiday weekend as roads suffered significant delays.
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Heavy downpours left the roads inundated, with a fortnight’s rain expected 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 under water.
The disruption comes as 5.6 million people get behind the wheel to make the most of the long weekend, with queues already on the M25, as well as a number of major roads in the west of the country .
Deputy Chief Constable Glen Mayhew, Devon and Cornwall Police, urged people en route to the coast to “plan ahead”.
“Planning any trip to Devon and Cornwall is extremely important,” he said.
“If you are traveling without booking accommodation in advance, it is unlikely that you will be able to find accommodation in the area when you arrive.”
Simon Fishwick of Visit Devon said most companies “are experiencing high levels of bookings”.
“Now is not the time to turn to the case 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 rain warning covering the northeast.
Met Office officials say 40mm of rain could fall in just a few hours.
Last year’s total precipitation for the month of August was 76.7 mm.
Bad weather is causing problems across the country, with flash flooding reported in the South West, Surrey, London and Glasgow.
The warning to tourists to Devon and Cornwall comes after beaches on the south coast were besieged by sun worshipers who decided to stay at home this summer.
In a heat wave at the end of June, the chiefs of council in Bournemouth, Dorset, declared a major incident after 500,000 people gathered on the coast.
In the aftermath of the incident, the council launched a new app to alert visitors to “full” beaches where safe social distancing is not possible.
And the resort has since had to close several of its beaches to newcomers, as crowds pack the sand to capacity.
But there will be few opportunities for sunbathing this weekend – with a bank holiday weekend planned.
Forecasters have also warned of gales of 50 miles per hour that could cause blackouts and topple trees.
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Frank Saunders, chief meteorologist at the Met Office, said: “It will be quite cool despite the sunshine as northerly winds bring temperatures below average for the time of year with highs of around 16-18. ° C.
“At night it will be really cold, with temperatures dropping to single digits for the most part. ”
And there are even fears it will be the coldest August public holiday in 40 years, as a ‘polar dip’ brings -1c GEL to Britain.