Severe weather update – 2pm February 6. The latest forecast from the Met Office and the Environment Agency is predicting a further period of strong winds and heavy rain moving into Cornwall on Friday evening which will then affect the whole area during Saturday and Sunday.
There will be periods of rain continuing throughout today (Thursday), some of which could include hail showers and lightning, with lighter winds. There will be a brief respite during the day on Friday, before more wet and windy weather moves in late on Friday evening and into the early hours of Saturday morning.
There is likely to be between 10-20 mm of rain falling within a six to eight hour period, which could lead to localised flooding. This will be accompanied by strong winds, which could reach gusts of between 50 and 65 miles per hour in coastal areas, leading to large waves.
There will be further rain throughout Saturday, with the winds then strengthening to reach 65-70 mph on the coasts, with the potential of gusts of up to 75-80 mph. The high winds and large waves will then slowly decrease over Sunday, although there is still the potential for some heavy showers. There will be a further respite in the weather during Monday, before more wet and windy weather comes in on Tuesday.
All the agencies are monitoring the weather situation closely, with Silver Control currently running in “skeleton” mode. There will be further multi agency meetings taking place tomorrow, but the current plans are to fully open Silver Control between 9 pm on Friday evening until 2am on Saturday morning to cover the period of high tide.
If the weather conditions ease as expected Silver Control will then move back into “skeleton” mode before re opening again at 12 noon on Saturday until around 8pm. The situation will then be assessed to decide if the centre can then be scaled down to “skeleton” mode. If, however, the weather conditions remain severe then Silver Control will remain open to ensure a co-ordinated response.
Council staff are continuing to provide support for the areas which have been affected by the floods. The latest figures show that around 60 properties have been flooded across Cornwall over the past few days and four people have been provided with temporary accommodation as a result of the floods.
Structural engineers are currently assessing the condition of the Clock Tower and the Institute at Kingsand and will then be discussing the options with the Parish Council who own the building.
There are significant concerns over the stability of the building which could be further damaged by the coming storms and we are drawing up contingency plans with the local Member and parish council. Other works are taking place in Seaton where staff are moving 100 tonnes of sand from the café, and at St Mawes and Penzance and Newlyn where interim works are underway.
Staff have also been working with partners to assess the damage to South Quay in Penzance and following an inspection of the area, it has now been confirmed that the Gry Maritha freight ship will be able to leave for the Isles of Scilly later today.
CORMAC staff are also giving advice to the owners of the private harbours at Porthleven and Mullion. There have also been concerns over the condition of the Coverack coastal defences where the sea wall has been partially washed away, leaving a void under the road cracks on the surface. The road has been closed but there is a risk that the surface could give way if there is further washout. Crews from CORMAC are on site carrying out temporary works to try to prevent further damage.
The Environment Agency has carried out works to remove a blockage from the outfall from Loe Bar (Helston) into the sea. A digger is currently on site and has now removed material to establish some flow, enabling a partial discharge. The agency is monitoring the situation very closely, with support from the Council.
There is also pumping taking place at Wheal Jane, which is owned by the Coal Board. This project is being supported by the Fire and Rescue service.
Staff from Cornwall Housing have also been providing support to local people during the recent storms. The service received 17 severe weather related out of hours calls during Tuesday and Wednesday, with advice given to a further 24 callers.
The repairs contact centres at Moorswater and Threemilestone also handled 501 calls yesterday, almost double the normal daily call volumes of around 270. These calls identified an additional 74 weather related repairs, with this figure expected to rise even further.
Since 1 January the ongoing severe weather has resulted in over 420 additional repair jobs for Cornwall Housing stock. Whilst temporary works have been carried out at all of these to ensure that the properties have been made safe, the majority will require longer term and more major permanent remedial works.
This is in addition to the 530 additional jobs generated during December’s storms. For the month of January the repairs contact centres handled 6704 calls. The normal monthly call volume is between 5,000 and 5,200. Cornwall Housing staff are currently assessing the strategic impact of these additional calls on their overall reapir programme