Storms cause damage to Sidmouth sea defences

Sidmouth's damaged sea wall.

Sidmouth's damaged sea wall. - Credit: Archant

Thousands of pounds worth of damage has been caused to Sidmouth’s sea defences, after two major storms smashed into the county.

Sidmouth's damaged sea wall.

Sidmouth's damaged sea wall. - Credit: Archant

Storm Brian and Ex-Hurricane Ophelia battered the town’s seafront with gale-force winds of up to 70mph when they both hit the South West.

Last weekend, chunks of the sea wall were completely ripped away when Storm Brian hit the UK.

East Devon Distinct Council has now secured £16,000 to make repairs to the fractured sea defences.

Prior to the storm, the council had already highlighted several ‘defects’ in the town’s sea wall from damages caused throughout the year.

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A council spokeswoman said prior to Storm Brian its engineers were already aware of a number of mainly ‘cosmetic defects’ in the toe of Sidmouth’s seawall, which required renewal in the next financial year.

She added: “We’ve allocated a sum of £16,000 for these works as part of our budget submission for 2018.

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“As a matter of priority, we always re-inspect these areas after each storm, as well as areas where the beach has lowered.”

The council spokeswoman said the authority was working in conjunction with its partners at the South West Regional Coastal Monitoring Program.

The news has been heralded by County Councillor Stuart Hughes, who said: “It is good that someone reported the damage to me so quickly enabling me to report the concerns and possible further problems so that action could be taken by engineers because as once the water gets in through any voids in the seawall it can deteriorate really quickly.

“Thankfully the damage from the storm wasn’t too bad. I am pleased to say the repair works have been included in next year’s budget.

“If it does deteriorate before then I am sure that the repair will be brought forward as emergency works.”

Tropical Storm Ophelia hit the UK last Monday (October 16), causing major disruptions and slowing down operations across the country – seeing wind pick up a speed of up to 50mph in Sidmouth. Storm Brian arrived five days later on the Saturday (October 21), causing even more damage to the South West with gale-force winds of up to 70mph.

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