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‘Relentless’ bad weather taking a toll on Islanders

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SEVERAL roads and properties around the Island were flooded yesterday during the latest onslaught of heavy rain, severe gale-force winds and high tides.

Flooding between La Don Hilton and Sands café

Honorary police were once again forced to close sections of Victoria Avenue as the tide rose 45cm above its predicted height – causing seaweed, stones and other debris to be hurled by waves across the dual carriageway.

Flooding was reported on a number of Island roads, including sections of the Five Mile Road. Drivers in St Martin and St Saviour also reported issues.

And earlier in the day, between 4 and 5am, up to 8.4mm of rain fell, leading to firefighters being called out to Bel Royal to help bail out five properties.

Sue Deans, one of those affected, said flooding had first occurred earlier this week – the first time that she had experienced this in 15 years living at her current address.

‘The water has been coming down from Rue de Haut and the ground is so saturated that it is just not being absorbed,’ she said. ‘The Fire and Rescue Service and Drainway [drainage engineers] came out and we hoped it was a one-off, but it came back today and woke us up – it was bubbling up like an artesian well.’

Mrs Deans said that her apartment was one of two that were upstairs, meaning damage was restricted to her ground-floor entrance and garage.

‘I am the least badly affected,’ she said. ‘There are three properties downstairs and they have suffered with damage to their carpets, flooring and curtains, and a large cellar which was badly flooded.’

And despite the firefighters and plumbers’ best efforts, homeowners encountered more issues later in the morning when additional heavy rain showers fell. A boom was then set up to direct water away from the affected properties.

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The storm which hit yesterday, named Storm Inès by Metéo France, followed Storm Ciara, which struck last weekend – causing flights and ferries to be cancelled, mail to go undelivered and supermarket shelves to run empty.

And the extreme weather was due to continue with Storm Dennis due to hit the Channel Islands at the weekend.

Jim Galvin, Jersey Met Duty Forecaster, said: ‘It is going to make its way through Scotland and Iceland as we go through the middle part of tomorrow and then the winds will increase.’.

‘Most of the wind will be to the north-west of us but we are likely to see some gales overnight on Saturday going into Sunday.

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‘The wind direction could be more favourable to Jersey as it is likely to come from the south-west rather from the west and not be as strong as it has been.’

Bob Major, assistant manager of highways, beaches and cleaning for the Growth, Housing and Environment Department, who has been co-ordinating the clean-up efforts, described the week as ‘relentless’.

‘We did have a few issues this morning – we had a couple of landslides, an oil spillage, rockfall, displaced car-park mushrooms as well as dealing with the stones that had been thrown over onto the roads,’ he said.

‘We have been on since Sunday covering the high tides and it has been pretty relentless since then really.’

View the latest weather forecast and tide times here

Ed Taylor

By Ed Taylor
Journalist

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