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VIDEO: Cornwall's Storms Will Become 'More Frequent And More Severe'

Porthleven storm

Published by the Pirate FM News Team at 7:02am 14th November 2014

After another storm slams into Cornwall, the government is urged to help put in more flood defences.

Last winter we were battered twelve times in just three months - leaving Coverack cut in half and Kingsand's clocktower just inches from collapse.

Clearing up all the damage cost £21m but the economy was hit even harder. New figures reveal storms in 2012 cost another £60m.

Now the council wants more money, more help to stop power cuts and to make it easier to call out the military.

A report in front of officials later says: "Huge damage was caused to coastal infrastructure on numerous occasions and it is estimated that £4.4m of interim and £17.0m of permanent capital repairs were required as a
result of damage. An estimated £8.2m was lost from visitors not coming to Cornwall in January/February 2014 alone. First Great Western reported a loss of two thirds of passengers into Cornwall and Devon while the Dawlish line was closed, despite alternative transport being provided."

At the height of the storms people in Kingsand were evacuated as waves battered down front doors - and people in Bude, Porthtowan and Penzance were also told to leave their homes.

The report warns climate change will mean the frequency and severity of storms hitting Cornwall will increase over the coming years.

Edwina Hannaford is in charge of the environment at the council. She said: "We have to remember that Cornwall, as a peninsula, for storms that come across the Atlantic - we're first on. I did have it described to me that we are the flood defence for London. And I think that point was well taken.

"The communities of Cornwall are enormously resilient - they do help themselves. But sometimes when it's so enormous - like the storms were last winter - we do need a bit of a helping hand.

"That's why we're using this report to lobby the government and we're doing that with other local authorities in the southwest."

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