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VIDEO: Cornwall Is Back On Storm Watch
7:19am 9th October 2014
(Updated 7:19am 9th October 2014)
Sixty mile an hour winds have screamed across the Duchy - driving on five metre high waves.
There are flood warnings out for the entire Cornish coast - and the Environment Agency says some defences could be over-topped thanks to the gale force winds and super-high tides.
A lot of those defences have only just been repaired after last winter's battering.
The Met Office said: "Gusts are likely to reach 50 mph quite widely, with 60 mph gusts possible across exposed coasts and headlands, and also in association with squally, thundery showers. Winds will then moderate through Thursday morning."
A spokesperson for the Environment Agency warned: "As a consequence of these tide conditions we are expecting significant wave and spray overtopping at exposed coastal locations, with associated risk to property.
"We STRONGLY ADVISE pedestrians and motorists to avoid these locations around the times of high tide, as there will be extreme risk to life. Conditions in tidal estuaries are forecast to be less severe however some localised waves may be generated."
People in Looe and Polperro are being warned they are particularly at risk, because flood defences there have already been damaged.
The Environment Agency said: "Polperro Harbour Trust has reported that the flood barrier at the entrance to Polperro harbour has been damaged during the storms which occurred in recent days. The Environment Agency is providing advice and support to the Harbour Trust, who own and operate the gate. Engineers visited the gate this afternoon to examine the damage andare looking at how the gate can be safely repaired.
"We are working to support the Harbour Trust to put a plan in place to carry out the repairs as soon as practical, but our best estimate at this point in time is that is likely to take several weeks."
"The gate can’t be moved at present and will remain nearly closed in its current (but damaged) position. There is a risk that the gate may suffer further damage which could mean it is no longer able to reduce flood risk to homes around the harbor. We are working closely with Cornwall Council, the Harbour Trust and our partners at the local resilience forum to ensure that contingency plans are in place in the event of the gate suffering further damage.
"Home owners are asked to take precautions in line with the Flood Warning announcement they will receive tomorrow. We will provide a further update tomorrow afternoon including details of any contingency action put in place."
Local MP Sheryll Murray told Pirate FM: "There are people there who perhaps are a little bit concerned that their properties are vulnerable. The Environment Agency at the moment thinks those properties will be protected. If anyone has any concerns at all please do contact my office, we'll do whatever we can.
"What we don't want of course is to see the same vulnerable properties flooding again. I will also be pressing to make sure that any repairs that are still outstanding are carried out as expediently as possible."
Flood Warnings are out for the South Cornwall coast from Lands End to Plymouth and parts of the North Cornwall coast. These could lead to localised flooding in a number of areas, including Bude, Wadebridge, St Ives, Hayle, Perranporth, Newquay, Padstow, Port Isaac, Penzance, Falmouth, Penryn, Flushing, Mevagissey, Par, Lostwithiel, Lerryn, Polperro, Looe, Seaton, Kingsand and Cawsand and Millbrook.
A Flood Warning has also been issued for Truro, with the flood defences at Garras Wharf and the city centre at risk of over topping during high tide which is due at 6.30am. Pedestrians and motorists are being advised to avoid these areas around the times of high tide. Key routes into Truro including the A39 at Tresillian and between Devoran and the Norway Inn may be affected at the height of the tide affecting commuters
Cornwall Council said: "Officers from Cornwall Council’s Highways, Environment, Fire and Rescue and Emergency Management services, Devon and Cornwall Police, CORMAC and the Environment Agency will be monitoring the situation and are on standby to deal with any problems.
"During the floods which took place last year a number of householders reported difficulties in obtaining sandbags when the heavy rain affected their local area. As neither the Council nor the Environment Agency has a statutory duty to provide sandbags, anyone whose property is prone to flooding should ensure they have a supply of sandbags ready to protect their home or business should they need to. Local communities are also encouraged to check with vulnerable neighbours in case they need help with obtaining flood protection materials.
"Sandbags can be obtained from builders merchants, DIY and hardware stores. Anyone who is unsure if their property is at risk can check on the Environment Agency website www.environment-agency.gov.uk or call the floodline on 0845 988 1188.
"Members of the public are advised to sign up to receive free flood warnings from the Environment Agency website, check weather reports on the Met Office website or by listening to local radio and be prepared to change travel plans.
Further advice on preparing for flooding is also available from the Council’s website at www.cornwall.gov.uk/flooding
Check out video from the major storms earlier this year, including Newquay's Towan Beach taking a battering:7:19am 9th October 2014
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