Scilly Escapes Significant Damage From ‘Superstorm’

storm October 2013The expected storm disruption overnight has had little effect on the islands.

A wind gust of 103mph was recorded briefly at around 11pm on St Martin’s at a locals’ weather station although that doesn’t represent official Met Office data. The station is now offline, which may represent a fault.

Because of the Met Office warnings, preparations for weather-related problems were in place.

Rhona Holland, who heads up the Council’s Emergency Planning team, says staff and local police have been working with mainland emergency services partners in Devon and Cornwall, who convened their Gold Command to respond to any problems.

The Council’s Direct Labour Force had checked drains for blockages on Saturday as a precaution and Island Carriers were put on stand-by with their crane to lift and remove any fallen branches or trees.

They also had a supply of large sandbags to deal with any seawater ingress or run off if needed.

But neap tides and the prediction that the storm would peak around low water time, provided some reassurance to planners.

Police Constable, Mat Crowe was on patrol to check for problems all night. Devon and Cornwall Police Assistant Chief Constable Sharon Taylor had directed that neighbourhood officers should work overnight from 9pm to 7am.

Local police report no calls were made to the station.

Mat drove around St Mary’s, checking for problems and says the strongest winds appeared to hit around 4am. There’s been no apparent structural damage but he has removed some small branches from the road at the Rosehill and Telegraph Road junction.

There’s been no flooding from rainwater run off or from the sea, but Mat is urging drivers to take care, as the roads are slippery.

One lone camper staying at the Garrison campsite decided to stay under canvas. Owner Ted Moulson says he did offer the regular visitor a key to one of his holiday cottages, just in case.

Ted said he was in a sheltered field and, by midnight, he hadn’t taken up the offer of staying indoors.

There’ll be some more disruption today with the Scillonian III sailing cancelled. It’s been sheltering in Falmouth. That decision was made on Friday and passengers were given notice.

Interisland boating was also affected, to the annoyance of some birdwatchers who were unable to get to St Agnes to see the rare White’s thrush, which spent the weekend near the Parsonage.

St Agnes boatman John Peacock took his boat to ride out the storm on Bryher.

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