Diners trapped in Paignton’s cafe as flood waters rise


Diners were trapped in a cafe in Paignton this afternoon as rising waters threaten to flood the business.

Our Katie’s tea and coffee shop in Torbay Road was forced to close this afternoon and about 15 customers were unable to leave due to rising sewage water due to heavy rains this afternoon.

Owner Julie Aunger told DevonLive she was forced to close the kitchen and was losing the custom due to flooding.

Read more: Heavy rain as Met Office yellow weather warning goes into place

The firefighters arrived in the company to pump the rising water away from the premises.

Julie said: “It happened last August and we lost our electricity. Luckily this time we were able to drop sandbags.”

She added: “I’m really starting to get emotional as we’ve just gone through lockdown and have been closed for most of a year… and now this.”

Julie was critical of Torbay’s advice.

Julie Aunger in front of Our Katie’s Tea & Coffee House

“They don’t empty the drains on the road, so when there is heavy rain it always happens,” she said.

“The last time this happened my husband went to council and they said they would send someone to see, but nothing was done.”

Julie added that the store was in danger of being flooded three times today with 25 customers inside the cafe at its peak.

“The sidewalks are like rivers when this happens. It affects all businesses on Torbay Road, but our store is the one that gets flooded because it’s in a bowl at the bottom of the road.”

The incident sparked a lot of interest in the city with passers-by taking photos of firefighters dealing with the problem.

There are burst drains across Torquay with stranded cars and general traffic chaos.

A yellow weather warning was issued by the Met Office, which went into effect at 2 p.m. this afternoon.

The Exeter-based forecaster said people should expect spraying and flooding, which would lead to difficult driving conditions and possibly road closures.

Weather experts also say that where flooding occurs, there may be delays or cancellations of train and bus services, and there is a small chance that homes and businesses will be flooded, causing damage to some buildings.

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