Photos and video: North Devon counts cost of storm surge

The high tides caused part of the sea wall in Ilfracombe to be damaged. Pic: Andrew Pettey. The high tides caused part of the sea wall in Ilfracombe to be damaged. Pic: Andrew Pettey.

Sunday, January 5, 2014
4:27 PM

More high winds and huge waves hit the region causing damage to coastal towns and villages.

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Crowds gather to see the high tides in Westward Ho! Pic: Richard Murgatroyd.Crowds gather to see the high tides in Westward Ho! Pic: Richard Murgatroyd.

NORTH Devon is being told to expect more stormy weather as it counts the cost of the high spring tides this weekend.

The storm surge has seen the power of the ocean breaking windows, flooding sea fronts and smashing through sea walls.

Police have cordoned off areas of the coast at high tide to stop the dozens of storm chasers braving the dangerous conditions to see the huge waves.

And the Met Office has issued further weather warnings for gale force tomorrow from 3am throughout the whole day and night.

Waves smashed the window of Mrs B's arcade in Westward Ho! on Friday evening. Pic: Rob Braddick.Waves smashed the window of Mrs B's arcade in Westward Ho! on Friday evening. Pic: Rob Braddick.

A chief forecaster said: “A large, deep depression in the Atlantic is whipping waves up out at sea on Sunday, these coming into western and southern coastal areas of the UK as a large swell on Monday.

“Exceptionally high waves are expected, and whilst tides are past their peak of last week, they will still be high, bringing a risk of coastal flooding.”

In Ilfracombe the waves have smashed apart a section of the sea wall behind the Landmark Theatre, and in Westward Ho! a seafront arcade suffered broken windows.

There was drama at Trimstone Manor near West Down on Friday when a lightening strike ‘decapitated’ two large cedar and fir trees in its grounds. Owner Philip Milton said he was in his office overlooking the lawn, when he saw a flash ‘which seemed to last about four seconds’ and heard a fizzling sound.

These giant cedar and fir trees at Trimstone Manor near Ilfracombe were destroyed by a lightening strike on Friday. Picture: Trimstone Manor,These giant cedar and fir trees at Trimstone Manor near Ilfracombe were destroyed by a lightening strike on Friday. Picture: Trimstone Manor,

“I hadn’t heard nor realized the trees had come down until the children asked me to look out later and suddenly this majestic cedar and a fir were lying prone across the lawn with the bole of each tree as if dynamite had been placed inside the middles,” he said.

“If anyone wants to come and see before we’ve removed them, they’re welcome - such a shame but such God power too!”

Jonathan Day, flood risk manager at the Environment Agency, said: “The risk of flooding to the coast will continue over the next few days, especially on the south and west coast and along the Severn estuary.

“In addition, wet conditions have left the ground saturated in many areas, increasing the risk of river and surface water flooding.”

The high tides caused more damage to the sea wall behind the Landmark Theatre in Ilfracombe.The high tides caused more damage to the sea wall behind the Landmark Theatre in Ilfracombe.

“We would urge people to be prepared by checking their flood risk, signing up to free flood warnings and keeping an eye on the latest flood updates via the EA website and Twitter.”

Photos: To see more photos of the storm damage, click the gallery link on the right of page.

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