September 23 2014 Latest news:
Saturday, January 4, 2014
Fridays’s evening high tide brought more huge waves and spectacular sights as the storm surge continued to pummel the region.
HIGH tides once again battered the coast of North Devon this evening (Friday).
Initial reports suggest there has been no serious damage, but it appeared the authorities were taking no chances this evening.
Sightseers flocked to Ilfracombe to view the awesome waves and police were out in force, closing the pier entirely at the foot of the Quay and cordoning off areas too close to the sea.
Wilder Road along the seafront was closed to traffic for a short time as waves surged over the seawall at Wildersmouth Beach and along the road.
Combe Martin was relatively quiet, although waves continued to wash over the railings at Seaside Hill and police kept people back from the worst hit areas by the beach for a time.
Devon County Councillor Frank Biederman reported that Instow, scene of so much flooding earlier after a seawall collapsed, seemed to be holding up this evening.
But there was some drama from unexpected lightening strikes – the Top Chippy in Combe Martin was without power after a bolt struck very close to the shop at around 5pm.
Helen Bolton at the chip shop said a shocked customer had run in the door saying ‘it just missed me’. Customers used lights on their mobile phones for staff to finish dishing up their orders, then the kitchen closed until power was restored at around 7.30pm.
Elsewhere, Trimstone Manor near West Down suffered a more devastating strike this evening, which destroyed two giant fir trees in its grounds.
* The Met Office currently has a yellow warning in place for the South West throughout Saturday and Sunday, although the winds are forecast to die down tonight.
But the authorities continue to urge residents and anyone near the coast to be vigilant and not take any chances, with tomorrow’s high tide at Ilfracombe of 9.9 metres set to be the largest of the weekend.