Coastal communities in Cornwall brace themselves for next tidal surge
Cornish coastal communities are bracing themselves for another battering from the sea this evening.
Properties near the coast have been flooded this morning and fear worse may be to come.
Extremely high spring tides will hit Cornwall from 6pm this evening with surf website Magic Seaweed predicting a 22ft swell.
Schooners bistro at St Agnes has a magnificent view out over Trevaunance Cove but normally sits well above the high water.
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This morning however the raging seas smashed through the timber and glass balcony and ripped the doors of their hinges.
Owner Ben Job said: “Everything was working against us. We had big swells, strong winds and high tide and the huge surges took everything away.”
Beer barrels, some of them full, were whisked away when the tumultuous sea hit St Agnes at approximately 6am today.
Mr Job said: “The panels on the balcony are polycarbonate and toughened glass and they have just disappeared. The double glazing doors were ripped off their hinges.”
Mr Job said the next high tide this evening could bring even worse tidal surges.
“We’ve been told to board up the doors and see what happens,” he said.
In Perranporth the Tywarnhayle pub was closed again after pumping operations failed to stop the water coming in.
The pub has suffered repeated flooding with water gathering in the square outside and coming up through the drains.
Julie Berryman, who works behind the bar, said: “I managed to catch the fire brigade and they pumped out the front and the beer garden. It was an inch away from coming in the back door but it came up through the floor.”
The pub owners have been in negotiations with Cornwall Council and South West Water regarding the drainage problem in Perranporth but no action has yet been taken to resolve the issue.
“It’s a collection of rainwater that does not go anywhere and is coming up through the floor,” said Mrs Berryman.
Stuart Branch only opened the Willow bistro further down Beach Road in September.
This morning he was shoring up sandbags outside the front windows in the hope of saving his business from a second flooding.
He said: “We came down here at about 5am and there was already water up the road – as the tide came in it just got worse.
“The drains started backing up and the water was about six inches deep inside. There is just too much water and the system can’t cope with it.”
Volunteers in Perranporth were due to meet on the beach at 3pm today to fill up sandbags to help ward off the flooding.
Mr Branch said: “Everybody has been mucking in together and helping each other out.”
Rob Andrew, head of localism at Cornwall Council, said Looe, Mevagissey, Fowey, Polzeath, Perranporth and Penzance had all been hit by flooding.
Staff from Devon and Cornwall Police, Cornwall Council and the Environment Agency will meet at County Hall from 5pm today to co-ordinate the emergency response.
He said staff would be on standby this evening ready to go out to the worst affected communities.
He said: "The surge and the high tide will be less this evening but the swell is greater so it's very hard to predict the exact impact."