OBSERVER photographer Tony Cross found himself at the centre of a storm when he was caught in flash floods.
Tony was on holiday with his father Bernard when torrential rains hit the Corn-wall coast, causing widespread flooding resulting in the deaths of at least three people.
The pair were staying at the St Ives Bay Hotel and had gone to bed just as the rain began around 11.30pm last Friday.
Tony said: "The weather had been fantastic all week but at about quarter to one in the morning all hell broke loose.
"The fire alarm was going off so we got out of bed and got dressed.’’
The pair were staying on the second floor and had no idea about the extent of the flooding until they got downstairs.
Tony said: "When we looked out of the window it was absolutely binning it down.
"We were taken through the back door of the hotel to the garage. When we got outside, we found we were 12 inches deep in water."
Between 50 and 60 other guests were evacuated with them to the garage which was on higher ground than the hotel itself. After 45 minutes guests were told they could go to another hotel further from the coast.
Tony said: "It was still raining when we got outside.
"By the time we got across the main road at the front of the hotel, it was like a raging torrent with 15 inches of rain water."
At about 5.30am, guests were told they could return to the St Ives Bay Hotel. Tony and Bernard left on their coach back to Lancashire shortly afterwards.
Tony said: "I had only seen what it was like in St Ives so when a friend texted me on Saturday and asked if I was okay I knew it must have been pretty bad.
"It was a bad experience but we will go back to Cornwall in the future."
Sadly this wasn’t the first time Tony has been connected to a Cornwall holiday disaster.
In 2007 he planned to stay at the Penhallow Hotel in Newquay during a summer break but the hotel was gutted by fire a week before his visit.