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VIDEO: 50ft Waves Batter Cornish Coast

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2:11pm 8th February 2014
(Updated 2:11pm 8th February 2014)

Cornwall is being battered by another storm, prompting fears some creaking flood defences may not last the weekend.

Waves are now so big off the Cornish coast - one of the buoys that measures their size has gone offline.

Others are reporting swell up to fifty feet high.

Coastguards call the swell "phenomenal" and are urging us to stay clear of the coast.

Officials were worried it could be enough to smash through shattered sea defences, but this lunchtime's high tides came and went without major incident.

Engineers have been shoring up defences in Penzance and Seaton and are standing by in places like Bude.

A spokesperson for the Met Office said: "Winds will increase from the southwest during the course of Saturday with severe gales affecting coastal districts, bringing gusts of 60-70 mph and isolated 80 mph at the most exposed locations within the Amber warning area. Large waves are also expected to affect southwest facing coasts. Further inland, gusts of 50-60 mph are likely.

"The public should be prepared for disruption to transport and locally to power supplies, particularly when combined with the impacts of heavy rainfall."

Villagers in the south east Cornwall village are waiting to see if the iconic Clock Tower will survive another battering.

It has already been condemned, but needs to survive the weekend so repair work can begin.

Local councillor George Truebody: "We need to get through the next 48 hours and then assess the situation. Structural engineers have been in and we're awaiting a report straight back from them."

A spokesperson for Cornwall Council said: "Crews from Highways and Environment service have been at the site of all the key risk areas since earlier this morning carrying out inspections of the sea defences which had previously suffered damage from the storms.

"With high tide now past, there have been no reports of significant coastal flooding. So far all the temporary repairs at harbours and other coastal defences appear to be holding and the areas have not suffered any further damage. 

"The temporary repairs carried out at the Clock Tower at Kingsand also appear to be holding and there has been no further damage at Seaton or in the Penzance and Newlyn Green areas where the rock armour and other temporary defences are holding. Crews from Cormac are still on site carrying out repairs.

"The temporary repairs are also holding at Fistral in Newquay and at the area around the Blue Reef Aquarium. Crews will remain on standby in all the key areas throughout the afternoon and into the evening.

"There were reports of minor over topping of the waves at Porthleven, with the police having to close some access roads because of the large number of people wanting to travel to the area to look at the waves.  All the agencies continue to advise people to stay away from areas which could be at risk.

"There have also been reports of some people driving past road closed signs – particularly at St Mawes and at the road between Five Lanes and Altarnun where the road has been closed because of a fallen tree.  The police and Highways have appealed to people not to ignore road closed signs as they are putting themselves at risk."


Video: Andrew Wallis

2:11pm 8th February 2014

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