The senior police officer in charge of the evacuation of Dawlish residents during the unprecedented storm last week has praised the emergency services and other agencies for their speedy response.

At around 10.40pm on Tuesday 4 February 2014 a major incident was declared after huge waves damaged sections of railway track and the sea wall in the town.

Shortly afterwards, residents living in Sea Lawn Terrace, Riviera Terrace and Exeter Road were evacuated due to the threat to life.

Police officers and staff from Teignbridge District Council assisted with the evacuation, along with a number of other agencies including the fire and ambulance services, the Marine and Coastguard Agency, Devon County Council and the Highways Agency.

The co-ordinated response was also assisted by Network Rail, the Environment Agency and the Met Office.

Residents were taken to a rest centre at Dawlish Leisure Centre, or found alternative accommodation elsewhere.

Chief Superintendent Paul Davies, who was in charge of co-ordinating the multi-agency response to the adverse weather experienced across the county, said: “I was most impressed by the response of all agencies and local residents in Dawlish. It was a real team effort and all agencies worked extremely well together to ensure an effective response.

“The co-operation of the residents was excellent on the night and, without doubt, saved anyone from being injured. Clearly many of them will be impacted by this incident for a long time.”