Storm Clear Up in Dorset
11:51am 6th February 2014
Dorset is cleaning up after being battered by strong winds, heavy rain and high tides yesterday (Wednesday 5th February).
At the height of the storm Portland Beach road had to be closed as waves crashed over sea walls and turned the very South of Dorset into a standalone island, cut off from the rest of the county.
Sea water rushed down roads and towards people’s homes who'd earlier been warned by the Environment Agency to prepare themselves for the onslaught.
Dozens of people took to high ground to watch the wrath of the sea crash against sea defences and drench homes in the firing line.
Easton Methodist Church opened up its doors to offer tea and coffee to people who'd escaped their properties looking for a warm place to camp out for a few hours. Minister Reverend Chris Briggs told us there was a good sense of community spirit there despite the conditions;
"Most people just made a go of it in terms of what they were doing. Portland is a marvellous community that pulls together in difficult times and I have no doubt they'll do the same over the coming days as the conditions continue."
Elsewhere, West Bay in Bridport and Preston Beach road in Weymouth were also badly flooded. West Bay was nearly completed washed out and the Harbour almost overflowing. The local Harbour Master James Radcliffe told us the flooding was terrible;
"It's very rough, the pier is under water and the promenade is close to being underwater. I wouldn't advise people to walk on the esplanade, they should stay away."
Bridport Police Inspector Mike Darby said Officers were out telling "Wave Watchers" not to risk their lives;
"We were out making sure people weren't putting their lives at risk. There were plenty of people in West Bay taking a look at the waves and rough seas, but they were all very well behaved and stayed well back."
The Council's highway teams spent hours removing debris from roads and cutting down fallen trees.
The Communities Secretary Eric Pickles is due to make a statement to MP's today (Thursday 6th February) about the flood crisis that's hit the South West the past few weeks.
More stormy weather is forecast for Saturday right across Dorset.