Scilly Experiences Limited Flooding As High Tide And Storm Combines

Hugh Street this morning

Hugh Street this morning

High tide has passed without too much storm damage or flooding so far this morning.

The Environment Agency have been predicting a ‘worst case scenario’, with a combination of gale-force south-westerly winds, spring tides of 6.1m and large waves.

Emergency management teams across the South West declared it a ‘major incident’ last night.

The highest wind gust so far was recorded as 61mph at St Mary’s Airport at 6am and conditions are expected to deteriorate during the day.

The worst affected area was Hugh Street with a few inches of water between the Paper Shop and the Co-op, mainly caused by poor drainage.

The Atlantic Hotel restaurant has flooded with about an inch of water in the Atlantic Inn pub next door.

Manager Neil Moorton was assessing the situation at 6am. He says the back end of the inn, by the pool table, is the worst affected area as water came in through the patio doors.

The Atlantic Inn

The Atlantic Inn

Neil was surprised at the level of flooding. He said it’s worse than he thought it would be, and for the moment he can only stand back and limit any damage that’s caused.

But the pub will still be opening as normal.

There was some surface water in Old Town at the top of Trench Lane as well as Porthmellon, where water has washed past the storm board on the beach. But nothing is expected to prevent traffic getting through, with caution.

On St Agnes, Julian Pearce reported very heavy seas around Porth Conger. Some large rocks have been thrown over sea defences onto the quay and the navigation light at the end isn’t working.

The crew of the Lyonnesse Lady are being commended by locals this morning after braving big seas to sail to and from Penzance. They returned at around 11pm last night.

Harbourmaster Dale Clark says about a dozen sections of the pontoon have broken free and been damaged badly. He says it’s not safe to use and advises people to keep away.

A couple of flooded punts have been rescued by the harbour team and a large section of the block paving on the quay has been lifted and a section of a lean-to roof has collapsed.

Director of Place Craig Dryden says the Council are “taking the warning seriously” and ensured that the drains have been cleared and the sewerage system is sound.

Craig said the Council does not have a statutory duty to provide sandbags and anyone whose property is prone to flooding should ensure they have their own flood defences in place, to protect their home or business as necessary.

But there has been some criticism of that decision on Radio Scilly’s Facebook page.

Lucy Wilkins asked why sandbags weren’t provided for her 87-year-old mother who lives on Hugh Street and why no one stopped cars driving through the water, creating a wash, which made matters worse.

St Mary’s resident Becky Hicks has kindly provided some sandbags for Lucy’s mum this morning.

Damaged car at the Mermaid car park

Damaged car at the Mermaid car park

The Council’s Emergency Planning Officer, Rhona Holland, says the surface of the car park by the Mermaid Inn has been damaged and she’s asking people with cars parked there to remove them, ahead of this evening’s high tide.

She says anyone who experiences flooding should contact the emergency services and a rest centre has been prepared at the Sports Hall at Carn Gwaval should the need arise.

The next high tide this evening could still present a danger if winds remain high.