Harpford Weather

During the night of the 29th to 30th October Severe weather hit parts of East Devon. Localised, intense thunderstorms developed which were very slow moving, building over the same area for a few hours. Huge amounts of small hail and torrential rain fell around Ottery St Mary, with The King’s School recording 187mm. The rain combined with hail blocking drains led to severe surface water and river flooding, with the River Otter reaching its 2nd highest level recorded (records since 1962). Some tributary streams probably far exceeded a 1 in 100 year event.

The peak intensity of the storm was around 01:00 - 02:00 in the morning with the most intense precipitation and frequent thunder/lightning around this time. A Met Office report on the event is available here. Showing how localised the event was, the really intense precipitation missed Harpford with no hail falling at all, just some quite heavy rain overnight totaling 37-38mm. The storm was centred only about 3 miles away with spot totals between West Hill and Ottery St Mary possibly exceeding 200mm. Harpford just saw the floods from the River Otter (though our house and most others are thankfully above floodplain level).

Pictures below of the aftermath of the storm from around the area including the River Otter flooding around Harpford (first 5 pics) and the hail and flooding aftermath in West Hill and slightly south of Ottery. There are no photos from Ottery itself because you could not get into the town very easily.

October 2008 storm