£6 MILLION and counting – the final cost of the damage wrought by mother nature on Mount’s Bay is yet to be finalised.
The Valentine’s Day storm of last Friday only added to the catalogue of damage inflicted on Penzance and the surrounding area over the past few weeks.
Properties were flooded on Penzance seafront and, to a lesser extent in Newlyn, the sea surged up Morrab Road and Cornwall Terrace, while huge waves smashed against the windows of the Yacht Inn, fully 50 yards inland.
The promenade on Penzance seafront had paving slabs ripped up and tossed across the road while the railway into the town remains closed after waves crashed over it.
Last week, the cost of repairing the damage on the stretch of coastline from Newlyn to Marazion was put at more than £6 million. Following Friday’s storm a new figure has yet to be determined.
A Cornwall Council spokesman said: “Our engineers are still carrying out assessments with regard to the scale and cost of the latest damage.”
On Friday afternoon local ward Cornwall councillor Jim McKenna spent three hours distributing 700 of the 1,000 sandbags provided by the Government’s commitment to underwrite their cost as well
as liaising with Cornwall
Council’s Silver Control Centre.
He felt the sandbags helped to reduce the amount of flood damage to local properties and praised the work of the emergency services.
“The fire brigade, police and Cormac were absolutely brilliant,” he said. “I’d also like to thank Rob Matthews, from Sound, who gave up several hours of his time to deliver sandbags to individual properties in his truck.
“Apart from a couple of huge waves which overtopped the bridge, I think on this occasion that Newlyn escaped relatively lightly; it was Penzance prom which bore the brunt of the 50mph southerlies and a high tide.
“It’s important now that the Government makes good its funding pledges in terms of repair costs, although in the longer term we have to look at producing a strategy which will protect the coastline all the way along from Newlyn to Marazion.”
As the weather relented over the weekend, the prom was visited by a number of senior figures including Shadow Environment Minister Maria Eagle, Cornwall Council leader John Pollard and West Cornwall MP Andrew George.
Mr George said: “If these storm clouds are to have a silver lining then local community representatives must speak with one harmonious voice to the Government and to seek the kind of partnership and determination that is necessary to secure a project which will give our local communities the protections it deserves.”