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LIVE: Weather updates as storm strikes Cornwall

By WBGraeme  |  Posted: February 02, 2014

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STRONG winds and high seas have begun to batter Cornwall this weekend as a major storm front moves in.

The gales have coincided with high spring tides, leading to fears of flooding from a storm surge.

Cornwall Council has set up a control unit at County Hall, called Silver Command, to coordinate any action this weekend.

8.40pm: It has been confirmed that a French fishing vessel is in difficulties outside of Newquay harbour.

She has has suffered damage to her wheelhouse and is under tow by the RNLI.

The Coastguard are considering air lifting the crew as little headway is being made.

8.20pm: Update from Silver Control at New County Hall.

Crews are still in Portreath, Bude, Perranporth, Wadebridge and Looe - monitoring the weather, sea condition and flooding.

Both rest centres in Portreath and Bude have now closed and the one family in the Portreath centre has returned home.

Wharf Road in St Ives remains closed. An elderly lady has been attended by ambulance crew in St Ives after her window was smashed by waves; she has minor cuts and bruises.

The main road in Bude remains closed with waves coming over the top half of the road causing flooding.

Three surfers and two canoeists were asked to leave the river and after initially refusing have now left.

Beach Road in Perranporth is still flooded and closed; sandbags are not keeping the water back.

Fire engines are pumping three properties. Waves have been coming over the wall at Perranporth and into the car park, which is closed.

Officers advised the Watering Hole on Perranporth Beach closes as it is now dark and people returning across the beach have to cross the incoming water.

The previous road collapse on Towan Beach Road, in Newquay, has reoccurred and crews are in attendance there. There is coastal flooding in Porth as well.

The tide is over the road at Polzeath.

The road in Trevone remains closed with a diversion in place.

There are a lot of people watching the high tides in Padstow and Polzeath but most people are being sensible are watching from safe places. The public is asked to stay away from coastal areas and not put themselves in danger.

Looe is also flooding and crews there dealing with minor issues.

Chief Inspector Mark Bolt and Paul Masters thanked everyone who has been involved in dealing with this incident so professionally as move now into the recovery and cleanup operation.

Advice on preparing for flooding visit the environment agency website www.environment-agency.gov.uk or the Cornwall Council website at www.cornwall.gov.uk/flooding.

7.45pm: The sea has breached the main road through Porth, near Newquay, and the sea front near Blue Reef Aquarium has again been damaged. Reports of a large hole opening up there. Pictures to follow soon.

7.17pm: It has been reported that a fishing boat is unable to enter Newquay harbour because of the waves.

The crew could be evacuated by helicopter and the coastguard is assessing the situation.

7.10pm: The main road in Bude is under water and closed.

6.55pm: High tide has now passed. The fire service reports a second property flooded in Perranporth’s Beach Road.

6.50pm: Paramedics called to treat woman injured in St Ives after the wind caught a window which hit her head. Firemen are also on the scene at the water-front house to pump out after flooding.

6.45pm: Newquay police inspector Dave Meredith @NewquayInsp tweeted: “I’m down the Watering Hole pub at Perranporth and can confirm it's still standing despite the storm”

6.40pm: The harbour master at St Mary’s, Isles of Scilly, reported that storm boards and sandbags have been washed away at Porthloo. He added data from the Seven Stones Buoy recorded a wind speed of 36.9 knots or 45mph and a swell of 29.9 feet at 6pm.

6.30pm: Weather update from Silver Control at the emergency management centre at New County Hall in Truro.

Statement from assistant chief executive Paul Masters: “We are monitoring the weather and sea condition as the high tide passes up the coast of Cornwall.

“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.”

The main points are:

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, near Padstow, is closed because part of the wall at the back of the beach has collapsed. A diversion is in place.

Looe is also flooding and council crews are there.

Silver Command is led by acting chief inspector Mark Bolt from Devon and Cornwall Police. He is supported by Cornwall Council duty director Paul Masters, assistant chief executive and representatives from council services, including Cormac, environment, fire and rescue service, emergency management, localism and communications and Environment Agency.

Advice on preparing for flooding visit the environment agency website www.environment-agency.gov.uk or the Cornwall Council website at www.cornwall.gov.uk/flooding

6.15pm: Congestion in St Ives as Wharf Road closed by flooding.

5.50pm: People are being urged to stay off the beach at Perranporth as more flooding is reported. Firefighters have been called to a property in the village.

4.55pm: The fire service has taken down a sign in Camborne, which was damaged in strong winds today and considered a danger to the public. Firefighters were called to Trevenson Road where they used their ladder to lower the sign and make the area safe.

3.10pm: The Environment Agency is urging people to stay away from the coast as waves could overtop sea defences today from around 4pm.

In a statement, the agency said: “Flooding is expected over the high tide on Saturday afternoon (approx 6pm), Sunday morning and Monday morning.

“Conditions will usually apply for two hours either side of high tide. The wind is forecast for south westerly force 8, with significant waves and the surge around 200mm. Overtopping defences is expected.

“Coastal areas will be extremely dangerous and the public are advised to avoid these areas.”

12.00: The Met Office issues a Yellow alert weather warning for the south west, to last until 3am on Sunday. It reads: “Winds will continue to increase on Saturday, with gusts widely to 50 to 60 mph, and locally to around 70 mph on exposed coasts in the west.

“Additionally, large waves could lead to over-topping along some coastlines. The public should be aware of these hazards.”

11.25am: Safer Cornwall, the community safety partnership, launches new initiative urging drivers to stay out of floodwater. It warns that even if water does not appear deep, the road surface below could be damaged.

11.15am: Gunnislake crash. The driver of a van which crashed into the River Tamar earlier escaped with a suspected broken arm but otherwise unhurt.

11am: The council's silver command has been stood down but will be back at 5pm ahead of high tide.

9.30am: Reports of a vehicle crash at Gunnislake bridge, over the River Tamar - vehicle is reportedly in the water. Saltash PCSO Kirsty Down took to Twitter to say: "Report of accident on the bridge over the Tamar river at Gunnislake. Emergency services are on route please avoid area for moment."

6.45am: Firemen were called out to flooding in Perranporth. Two fire engines were called to Beach Road where a restaurant had been flooded.

The firemen set up portable lights and started to pump out the building.

Elsewhere, there have been reports of minor flooding at Looe, Bude and Portreath.

Overnight: it has been reported that there have been accidents on the A30 at Bodmin moor due to ice or even possibly snow.

The railway line between Liskeard and Looe is also disrupted due to flooding

The B3254 at Upton Cross near Liskeard is also blocked due to a fallen tree.

Have you been affected by the storms this weekend? Let us know, email graeme.wilkinson@c-dm.co.uk

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