An Environment Agency operations team worked around-the-clock to protect people in Bude, Cornwall, from flooding after a sea defence was damaged during the weekend storms.
The workers raced to re-build the damaged defences once again before the second high tide came in and again threatened to flood the community of Bude.
Saturday morning’s large waves damaged the Environment Agency coastal defence. Throughout the day, workers moved 1,200 sand-bags, approximately 30 tonnes, in behind the defence to bolster the breach.
They finished just before the evening’s tide only to watch even bigger waves come and break onto their temporary defence damaging a large section.
However, more than 20 homes were protected from flooding.
“When the high waves came crashing in, it damaged a substantial section and threw material quite 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 by the storm, the team began again to rebuild the defence before the next high tide. They finished at 5.30am, just 40 minutes before the first high tide of the day arrived in Cornwall.
“The team was determined to rebuild the defence before the next high tide as people would have been flooded. The tides passed through, and the defences held and about 100 people were protected from flood water,” added David Harker.
The Environment Agency teams also worked to rebuild parts of Chisel Beach using three diggers and three bulldozers. This recovered beach material has helped to protect the damaged sea defences and the community at Chiswell.
Press Release, February 3, 2014