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VIDEO: Homes Evacuated Amid Flooding
6:57pm 1st February 2014
(Updated 6:57pm 1st February 2014)
More than a hundred homes are being evacuated across Cornwall amid flood fears.
It is as a weekend of misery begins in the Duchy, with storm surges, gales and ice forecast.
The council says it is particularly worried about properties in Bude and Portreath.
There are yellow weather warnings in place for winds up to 70mph.
Some forecasters predict 30ft waves pounding the coastline every twenty seconds.
Dave Owens is part of the team at Cornwall Council's silver command emergency HQ. He said: "Please, please stay away from the coast. It's going to be extremely windy and rough. This combined with the high spring tides is a real concern."
Officials are urging people to stay clear of beaches and cliffs, amid fears that parts of the cliff path could collapse after being weakened by weeks of rain.
But that message does not appear to have been heeded by everyone. Debbie Tweeted Pirate FM to say: "Everyone is turning up here in Portreath anyway? Locals told to leave houses but village crammed!"
A spokesperson for the council said: "Residents living in properties known to be at high risk of coastal flooding, in both Bude and Portreath, are being advised to vacate their property
and find temporary living arrangements during the periods around high tide.
"Officers from Cornwall Council's Localism team are personally visiting all properties considered to be at risk in both Bude and Portreath, giving advice and providing support if needed.
"Any of the residents, potentially at risk in Bude and Portreath, who do not have somewhere else to go during the periods of high tide - have been given advice and details of how to request assistance."
The periods that officials are most worried about on Saturday are in Bude between 18:00 and 21:00 and in Portreath between 17:00 and 20:00.
But some do not want to leave. Jennifer is visiting from Glasgow. She said: "We're on holiday. Yes, it is quite frightening - but what can you do? We know where to go. If we have to we will go."
Silver Control, the council's emergency command centre has been activated, bringing together the Environment Agency, Devon and Cornwall Police, Cornwall Council, Cornwall Fire & Rescue Service and other relevant agencies. Voluntary sector agencies such as Volunteer Cornwall, are on standby in case they are needed as well.
Coastguard teams have gone into Looe where 20-30 homes and businesses have been hit by flooding during Saturday morning's high tide. It was flooding again on Saturday evening.
Andy runs a farm shop and deli in the town. He said: "We're extremely worried. The forecast is not good. We raise everything off the floor that we can. The sandbags are out, but they don't actually stop much.
"I came down around 6.30am last time, stood at the door and literally watched the water coming up the street. So, we do know that it can get up to the door at the very least. If it's any worse than it was last time then it is going to come into the shop."
Two fire crews have been pumping out a restaurant on Beach Road in Perranporth. A woman has head injuries after waves crashed through a window in the Downlong area of St Ives. Flooding has already closed Wharf Road.
Chris lives in Portreath and walked out to inspect fresh damage to the harbour during the morning. He told Pirate FM: "The new railings the council put up over the last fortnight, the front ones have been bent in and there are some sections missing. The swell was nothing like it is now. So, yeah, it could be interesting later."
In Bude, Sean Jack runs a sports shop. He said: "We've had to put all our stock up again onto shelves and boxes, take all the clothing up out of the way to the back of the shop, get as many as sandbags as we can because we've got two doorways - and then pray."
Giving Pirate FM an update a spokesperson for the council said: "We have officers on the ground in Portreath, Bude, Perranporth, Wadebridge and Looe - monitoring the weather, sea condition and flooding.
"Both of the rest centres are now open in Portreath and Bude and we have officers in attendance at both.
"We have CORMAC crews in 5 key areas; Perranporth, Wadebridge, Looe, Bude and Portreath and St Ives. They are closing Wharf Road in St Ives, which is flooded, at the request of the police. Beach Road in Perranporth is flooded and closed. Waves are coming over the wall at Perranporth and into the car park, which is closed. Portreath harbour wall is being monitored and is in good condition, with no further damage at the moment.
"A road in Trevone is closed because part of the wall at the back of the beach has collapsed. A diversion is in place."
Advice from the Council:
- To be aware of the extreme weather conditions forecast and to stay away from the coast, coast path and areas known to be affected by floods
- Check that your own property is secure and check any drains or gulley's that may be blocked
- If your property is prone to flooding - and you have sand bags - you should use them
- Take care on the roads which may have standing water, be flooded or icy - always drive according to the road condition and never assume a road has been gritted
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