Residents of Helston, Mullion and Porthleven have been picking up free sandbags this lunchtime in a bid to protect their homes from flooding.

As a result of the latest advice from the Met Office and the Environment Agency, Cornwall Council has been distributing 1,000 sandbags to Helston, Penzance, Looe and Bude today.

In Helston these were picked up from the Coronation Park car park, which saw a steady stream of residents arriving to collect their quota of up to ten bags.

Town warden Craig Bowcutt was on hand to help distribute them and lift them into cars.

Other locations included the Wherry Town car park in Penzance, the Millpool car park in Looe and the Crescent car park in Bude.

It's follows yesterday's decision by the government to let local authorities recover the costs of distributing free sandbags.

Peter Marsh, interim director of environment at the council, said this morning: “Over the past few hours we have been working with our partners to identify the areas which are at greatest risk of flooding as a result of today’s severe weather conditions.

“Sandbags are being distributed in these areas so they are prepared for tonight’s high tide. For operational reasons sandbags will not be available directly from council depots.

“The weather conditions are then set to improve tomorrow afternoon and into next week giving us a respite from the risk of flooding.

“We will, however, continue to monitor the situation and are on standby to respond if the weather deteriorates.”

The time of high water today is between 4.41pm at Newlyn and 5.49pm at Plymouth.

Falmouth Packet: