Penarth Esplanade closed after high tides flood the road
Updated 5:12pm Friday 3rd January 2014 in Penarth news
WAVES: Penarth Esplanade was battered by waves earlier this morning (Pic courtesy of Ben Evans from Huw Evans Picture Agency)
The Vale of Glamorgan Council has warned people to avoid seafront areas during high tides and said that Penarth Esplanade will be monitored for potential road closures on Friday night and Saturday morning.
Penarth Pier will also be closed for public safety and reassessed on Monday.
A Vale of Glamorgan Council spokesman said: "We are aware of high tides, strong winds and large waves resulting in multiple flood warnings being issued in the area. It is important that people take common sense precautions by avoiding sea front areas and not wading or driving into floodwaters.
"The Council has deployed a number of resources to deal with the problems encountered along the Vale coast line and have put arrangements in place to deal with the forecast for this evening and tomorrow."
The following restrictions will be put into place due to predicted flooding:
• LLantwit Major Beach - road and car park closed (Fri PM and Sat AM)
• Penarth Esplanade - road to be monitored for potential closure at high tide (Fri PM and Sat AM)
• Southerdown Beach - access road closure at high tide (Fri PM and Sat AM)
• Penarth Pier – closed for public safety (To be reassessed on Monday)
• Swanbridge – Flood warning signs to be placed on road to advise caution
• Coastal public toilets – closed all weekend
PENARTH Esplanade was closed after extremely high tides completely flooded the road and caused it to resemble a lake earlier this morning.
The road was closed at 7.15am as waves crashed over the esplanade, bringing with them pebbles and seaweed.
During the high tides a canopy was also torn off the ice cream shop on the esplanade
The Vale Council’s piermaster Peter Andrews said it was the most severe flooding he had ever seen as drains were blocked and debris was strewn across the road. The road was later reopened after it was cleared.
"It was severe and I have never seen anything like it," he said.
“It was hitting the esplanade so hard it was hard to believe.”
He added that during the waves people went dangerously close to the barriers and risked their lives.
"It was that bad and people were going under the waves,” he said.
"If you get swept under those barriers you are gone.”
Amid forecasts that the high tides could get worse this evening, at around 8pm, he added:
"The best thing you can do is advise people not to come down here.
“I would say stay away."
After the tides started to go out again the drains were unblocked and a road sweeper was called in to clear the area of stones and seaweed that had been washed up.
The Penarth Pier Pavilion was not affected by the flooding on the esplanade or the high tides, but was closed until 1pm as gusts of wind blew dust through the vents and set off the fire alarm.
Director of the pavilion Dr David Trotman was called at 7.45am to investigate and said he was relieved that they had to use “hoovers and dusters rather than mops and buckets”.
“There was such a high gust of wind that it blew all of the dust out of the air vents,” he said.
“It brought all the dust into the main exhibition hall and that set off the fire alarms.”
He said that none of the artwork from the ‘Intertwined Narratives’ exhibition had been damaged, but they had dusted down the frames.
He added that the art exhibition private viewing would still be going ahead tonight and that the cinema screening would also be running as usual.
“I was more amazed by the esplanade and all the water there,” he said.
“The pavilion stood up to it.”.
Sandie Guppy, of the Fig Tree, said she was amazed that the water didn’t come into the Fig Tree, but that they would be putting up sandbags later tonight as the next high tide is due to be worse.
“When I got here our signs were floating in the middle of the road,” she said.
“It was a bit of a lucky escape.
“We didn’t sustain any damage but we are going to put up sandbags.”
She added: “I have never seen it like that before and I have lived in Penarth a long time.
“You hear stories about it but to see it like that was incredible.
“It was like looking at a lake.”
Yesterday, January 2, the Vale of Glamorgan Council issued the following advice to those affected by flooding.
“A combination of high tides, strong winds and large waves brings a medium coastal flood risk around the coast of Wales on Friday, with high tide times in the Vale of Glamorgan approximately 8.15am and 8.25pm.
“This could result in damage to buildings, possible risk to life as well as localised spray and wave over-topping at exposed coastal locations and promenades.
“Impacts will continue through the high tide periods on Saturday too with minor disruption, mainly from spray and wave over-topping.”
The Vale Council added that sandbags would also be available to those affected by flooding.
“If your home is under threat from flooding sandbags can be collected from the Court Road depot, Barry,” a spokesman said.
“There is a limit of 15 per household and you will need to bring documentary proof of residence for each property. The depot is open 24 hours, seven days a week for emergencies.”