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In 2000, 14 homes in the west Devon village of South Zeal were flooded, after heavy rain a deluge of water went down Ramsey Stream.
The 70 metre culvert that carries the stream under properties and the road through the village was overwhelmed.
West Devon Borough Council applied for grants which resulted in last year's £30,000 scheme for flood boards and pumps.
Since trials have been held residents install their new boards in 30 minutes, well within the hour's warning the system provides.
The new flood warning system will be installed this spring.