Wind direction sees Bude 'let off lightly' by storms
WE GOT away with it lightly – that was how the mayor of Bude described the impact the weekend's storms had on the resort.
There was damage at Bude, as the sea came over defences, but nothing on the scale inflicted on south coast communities.
A retaining wall by the outer lock gates was washed away, the historic Nanny Moore's Bridge was damaged, and the Environment Agency worked around the clock to protect people in Bude from flooding after a sea defence took a battering.
Throughout the day, workers moved 1,200 sandbags behind the defence to bolster the breach.
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They finished just before Saturday's evening tide, only to watch even bigger waves come and break onto their temporary defence, damaging a large section.
"When the high waves came crashing in, it damaged a substantial section and threw material some distance up the beach. But crucially 29 homes were kept dry and safe," said David Harker for the Environment Agency.
After seeing the temporary defence damaged, the team began again to rebuild the defence before the next high tide on Sunday morning. They finished at 5.30am, just 40 minutes before the first high tide of the day.
Bude mayor Frank Partridge said they were thankful no homes were flooded, while sandbags protected shops on The Strand.
"The water came over the top of the wall along the river, but just lapped against the sandbags outside the shops.
"The wind was blowing in the right direction for us and I think we got away with it lightly," said Mr Partridge.
Bude's surfing community took advantage of the tides, driven by gale-force south-westerly winds, which took waves surging up along the River Neet in the town.
The sight of people surfing and kayaking through the centre of the resort with spectators lining the pavements, made national TV and websites, sparking some comments that it was dangerous.
However, one of those taking part, Mini Fry, who is Bude's chief lifeguard in the summer, said: "The water was being channelled up the river and there was no danger.
"Everyone was experienced and used to surfing in these conditions, and we were all watching each other to make sure everyone was safe."