Pirate FM News

VIDEO: Landslip Alert for Cornwall

Penzance

Published by the Pirate FM News Team at 7:01am 11th March 2014.

Pirate FM has learnt there are fears big chunks of Cornwall's coast could collapse after the storms.

It is as the land dries out after being pummelled by waves and rain, triggering landslips and cliff collapses.

A chunk of the coast road at Port Gaverne has already gone - and the council warns that is going to push up the £21.45m clear-up bill even further.

It has got more than two hundred staff tackling broken beach huts in Bude, the beach wall at Seaton and the harbour at Looe.

The latest report identifies 74 incidents involving damage to roads, walls, culverts and bridges; 87 incidents of damage to coastal areas and coast defences and a further 94 incidents affecting the environment, including damage to footpaths and the coast path.

Around 230 council staff are currently involved in ensuing that areas which have been damaged by the storms are made safe for the public to use, carrying out temporary repairs to enable roads and footpaths to be re-opened and clearing up the debris left by the high winds and waves on beaches and open spaces.  

Specialist structural and building engineers are also continuing to assess the extent of the damage to key structures such as bridges, roads and sea defences so bids for government funding to carry out more permanent repairs and improve flood and coastal defences can be developed.  

Edwina Hannaford, the Council's Cabinet Member for Environment, Heritage and Planning, said "The unprecedented and sustained period of bad weather we have experienced over the last two months has been very challenging for the people of Cornwall as well as for the emergency services, Environment and Highways staff. However, as usual, the resilience demonstrated by Cornwall's communities has shone through."

One of the worst affected areas has been Penzance where there has been significant damage to the coastal defences at Eastern Green and Long Rock and damage to the South Quay, the promenade, Newlyn Green and Jubilee Pool. 

Temporary repairs were carried out by Council staff at Eastern Green last month to prevent further damage, including the installation of 7,5000 tonnes of rock armour.  Further repairs are being carried out, with plans being developed for a more permanent scheme. The current bill for carrying out the temporary repairs and the longer term solution has been estimated at more than £2 million but this is expected to rise significantly as a result of damage to the Jubilee Pool.  

There has also been significant damage to the harbour wall at Portreath where crews from CORMAC have been carrying out temporary repairs to prevent further damage from taking place, at Seaton where the beach wall has been damaged and at St Ives where both piers were damaged by the huge waves. The harbour at Porthleven , which was damaged in the February storms, suffered further damage last weekend with a new hole opening up in the sea wall.  

There has also been further damage to the coastal defences in Newquay,  including undermining of the Fistral Surf Centre and the Fistral RNLI training base and damage to the sand dunes, and damage to the road access to Blue Reef Aquarium and the Towan Promenade and beach huts.

Other areas which have been affected by the severe weather include St  Mawes  where there has been damage to the road, coastal defences  and the  privately owned quay; Bude, where there has been damage to the beach huts; Looe where there has been damage to harbour assets and to the coastal defences at Hannafore and at Kingsand and Cawsand where the coastal defences and the institute and the clock tower suffered significant damage.

Works on building a new retaining wall and reinstating Lower Kelly Road in Calstock, which collapsed in January cutting off 45 homes and businesses, began last month and are expected to be completed by July, with the road re opened to traffic in May.

This cliff collapse on the north coast happened three years ago - but the council fears there could be more in store...

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