DEVON County Council is re-deploying all its highways teams in the clean-up operation after the recent storms.

After sustained downpours in the past few weeks the council has received nearly 7,000 reports of flooded roads, potholes and fallen trees since December 20.

It is still assessing the full extent of the recent storm damage to Devon’s highway network and a number of sea walls.

It is re-directing all its highways teams into the clean-up to inspect and restore the local salting network to the best possible state before the onset of forecast colder weather later this month.

Though the recent damage is not thought to be anywhere near as bad as the £18million damage caused by the major floods of last winter it has put the county council at full stretch.

Cllr Stuart Hughes, Devon County Council cabinet member for highway management and flood prevention, said: “It makes sense to adopt this strategy as an urgent response to the amount of damage caused to Devon’s roads.

“The priority is to try to resolve as many of the safety and emergency issues on the roads which carry the bulk of the traffic in the county and provide key routes into communities.

“Our highway network has again taken a battering from the volume of rain in recent weeks, so we need to focus on repairing the damage and clearing problem drains and gullies.

“We can expect issues with water run-off for some time, which will cause problems if we have a freeze.”