High tide warning and they are shutting the flood gates at Weston
By Prue_Reid | Thursday, December 13, 2012, 18:20
Seafront flood defence gates will be closed at every high tide this weekend at Weston-super-Mare due to forecasts of strong winds and a tidal surge.
The award-winning sea defences will be put in play at Weston-super-Mare this weekend after a tidal surge warning
A North Somerset Council spokesman said: "Due to the high tides, and forecast strong onshore winds accompanied by a tidal surge this weekend, the sea defences on Weston-super-Mare's seafront will be activated at every high tide.
"Two hours before high tide, the flood defence gates along the full length of the seafront will be closed, and re-opened again when it is deemed safe to do so after each high tide.
"The times of high tide coincide with festive events organised at businesses along the seafront.
"In order to avoid disruption, anyone attending events on the seaward side of the defences over the weekend is advised to arrive early before the gates are closed.
"Because of the high numbers of people expected at events on the Grand Pier, these seafront gates will be closed last to enable guests to access the venue.
"They may close as early as 6.45pm on Friday and 7.30pm on Saturday.
"Council officers will be on site monitoring the situation closely, and will keep them open for as long as possible to minimise disruption without compromising anyone's safety.
"However, once the gates are closed, the promenade will not be accessible.
"The gates at the Grand Pier will be re-opened as soon as it is safe to do so after the high tide has passed and this is anticipated to be within 45 minutes and in plenty of time for anyone still arriving or leaving events at the end of the night.
"The time that is most likely to be an issue for people visiting the pier is between 7-8pm on Friday night, and 7.45-8.45pm on Saturday night."
The high tide times are:
- Friday, December 14 7.02am and 7.28pm;
- Saturday, December 15 7.50am and 8.15pm; and
- Sunday, December 16 8.38am and 9.01pm
These arrangements will apply on Friday, Saturday and Sunday.
If in doubt, revellers should check with the venue they're attending for more information.
Business and properties in the immediate vicinity of the seafront are encouraged to keep an eye on weather conditions around high tides and take any steps they feel necessary to provide additional protection.
The awarded-winning Royal Haskoning £30 million sea defences is one of the largest coastal defence schemes ever undertaken in the south west and spans the whole of the town's 2.4km seafront.
Works included reinforcing 900-metres of the existing Victorian sea wall, constructing a secondary 'splash' wall, installing an innovative collapsible flood guard, resurfacing the promenade, upgrading street lighting and civic furniture, and incorporating public art.
But back in October this year businesses along Weston-super-Mare seafront were flooded when someone forgot to shut the gates during a storm.