Update: North Devon prepares for new Atlantic storm
13:12 07 February 2014
Huge waves, gale force winds and heavy bands of rain are forecast to batter the region, which remains under amber weather warnings.
NORTH Devon is preparing for another weekend of stormy weather as amber warnings are issued across the region.
Despite a bright start to the day, heavy rain and gale force winds are set to settle in at 8pm this evening (Fri) and last until 6am on Sunday.
The Met Office is forecasting gusts of up to 80mph in coastal areas which could see 10-metre waves battering the coastline.
Torridge District Council said the pebble ridge at Westward Ho! was expected to hold firm against the expected onslaught although staff were on standby.
A spokesman for the Met Office said: “A further Atlantic frontal system will bring a band of rain quickly eastwards during Friday night and early Saturday, with the heaviest rain again likely to be across parts of southern England, followed in turn by heavy showers.
“Another 10-20 mm of rain (and perhaps locally 30 mm on high ground) will fall in the Amber area, leading to further flooding. Winds will also be a feature during Friday night and Saturday with severe gales possible around coasts in the south and southwest of England.
“The deep area of low pressure will move east into Northern Ireland during Saturday, with a band of severe gales likely to develop on the southern flank, with parts of southwest England, Wales and coastal districts bordering the Bristol Channel and English Channel bearing the brunt of the strongest winds, particularly through Saturday afternoon and evening.
“These winds will also whip up large waves over the eastern Atlantic which will affect southwest facing coasts during Saturday.
“The very strong winds are expected to last into Sunday morning for many parts.”
Leader of Torridge District Council Philip Collins, said: “Due to the significantly lower tides, overtopping or breaching of the Pebble Ridge at Westward Ho! is not expected this time.
“We have extensively repaired it following the recent storms and we expect it to hold. However in the event of any breach, heavy plant would again be mobilised.”
Last weekend there was significant damage all along the North Devon coastline and the council said any major repair works would be done after the weather calms down.
Damaged sections of the promenade at Westward Ho! have been taped off for safety reasons pending repair. Surveys of the sea defences are ongoing.
Access to the beach at Bucks Mills has been cut off due to the collapse of the road and slipway. This area is also fenced off for safety reasons and warning signs are in place there.
Cllr Collins added: “Although we are not expecting such high tides as last weekend, the forecast is for extreme weather so I would urge people to take all precautions and not take any unnecessary risks.”