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Severe weather warning puts Cornwall's Silver Control on standby

By DaveCDM  |  Posted: February 06, 2014

Waves at Praa Sands. Pic by Jon Betts

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WITH more extreme weather due to hit Cornwall in the next few days, emergency planners are already gearing up ahead of the expected storms.

Wet and windy weather is due to arrive on Friday evening, with up to an inch or rain falling accompanied by winds dusting up to 65mph in coastal areas, leading to large waves.

The latest forecast from the Met Office and the Environment Agency is predicting a further period of strong winds and heavy rain moving into Cornwall on Friday evening which will then affect the whole area during Saturday and Sunday.

There will be further rain throughout Saturday, with the winds then strengthening to reach gusts of 70 mph on the coasts, with the potential of gusts of up to 80 mph.

The high winds and large waves will then slowly drop during Sunday, although there is still the potential for some heavy showers.

There will be a further respite in the weather during Monday, before more wet and windy weather comes in on Tuesday.

A multi-agency 'Silver Control' is being manned with a skeleton staff at present, and is planned to open fully from 9pm on Friday to 2am on Saturday morning to oversee the worst of the conditions, and to open fully again between noon and 8pm on Saturday.

If, however, the weather conditions remain severe then Silver Control will remain open to ensure a co-ordinated response.

The latest figures show that around 60 properties have been flooded across Cornwall over the past few days and four people have been provided with temporary accommodation as a result of the floods.

Structural engineers are currently assessing the condition of the Clock Tower and the Institute at Kingsand and will then be discussing the options with the Parish Council who own the building.

There are significant concerns over the stability of the building which could be further damaged by the coming storms and we are drawing up contingency plans with the local Member and parish council.

Other works are taking place in Seaton where staff are moving 100 tonnes of sand from the café, and at St Mawes and Penzance and Newlyn where interim works are underway.

Staff have also been working with partners to assess the damage to South Quay in Penzance and following an inspection of the area, it has now been confirmed that the Gry Maritha freight ship will be able to leave for the Isles of Scilly later today. CORMAC staff are also giving advice to the owners of the private harbours at Porthleven and Mullion.

There have also been concerns over the condition of the Coverack coastal defences where the sea wall has been partially washed away, leaving a void under the road cracks on the surface.

The road has been closed but there is a risk that the surface could give way if there is further washout. Crews from CORMAC are on site carrying out temporary works to try to prevent further damage.

The Environment Agency has carried out works to remove a blockage from the outfall from Loe Bar (Helston) into the sea. A digger is currently on site and has now removed material to establish some flow, enabling a partial discharge.

The agency is monitoring the situation very closely, with support from the Council. There is also pumping taking place at Wheal Jane, which is owned by the Coal Board. This project is being supported by the Fire and Rescue service.

Further updates will be provided as the situation changes.

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