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Storm causes severe damage on St Ives' Porthmeor Beach

By CMChloe  |  Posted: January 07, 2014

  • Storm causes severe damage on St Ives' Porthmeor Beach. Pic Gary Ward

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Coastal properties in St Ives suffered severe damage during the storm as massive waves crashed on the shore.

Several apartments along popular surfing spot Porthmeor Beach were flooded and a huge section of the outside decking at the beach café collapsed.

On the west side of the beach concrete paving stones have been ripped up, railing pulled apart and wooden beach huts severely damaged.

A wall of sand, pushed up by the high tide, is now covering as much as a third of some of the buildings along the beach.

Driving wind, heavy rain and high tides at Porthmeor Beach saw water crash against Barnaloft Flats, which are located on the edge of the beach causing them to flood twice in four days.

Eighty-six-year-old Elizabeth Shaw had to be evacuated from her ground floor apartment last week as water poured in.

Her son, Chris Shaw, couldn’t believe the damage that the storm had caused.

He said: “There was seaweed and sand everywhere. It is scary. We have been coming here and spending time here for the last 50 years and I have never known the sea like that.

“We have had to evacuate [my mother]. It was too scary for her to be here. It is unsafe.”

Water smashed through the window of another flat and broke the wooden surrounding, leaving devastating damage.

After the initial onslaught of the storm last Thursday and Friday, residents lined the apartments with hundreds of sandbags in an attempt to hold back the seawater.

One staff member from Porthmeor Beach Café who has been helping with the clean-up said he has never seen anything like it.

He added: “It is hopefully a one off; we never want to see it again. We are cleaning up and making it safe.”

Chris Hibbert of Porthmeor Studios said they managed to avoid the worst of the storm.

“We have suffered minimal damage. If this had happened three years ago we would have lost the studio, but since the renovation it has held out.”

Cornwall Council said they have been working to secure the area as further severe weather warnings have been issued for the county.

A spokesperson for Cornwall Council said: “A significant amount of sand has piled up against the properties and we are advising not to move the sand as it is offering added protection against high tides and waves. Work has taken place to remove debris from the beach that could cause further damage.”

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