Isle of Man News - POSTED Fri 31-01-2014

Weather warning for east coast

by Joanne Clague

Weather warning for east coast - picture The Island is braced for another battering this weekend, with four metre high waves predicted to break through sea defences and promenades in Douglas, Castletown, Ramsey, Laxey and Gansey.
The fear is that the mix of high tides, heavy rain and gale force winds will result in similar floods to those that brought misery to businesses and households at the start of January.
But the government says lessons have been learned and a 'robust response' has been planned. The Department of Infrastructure is issuing more than 20,000 sandbags, in addition to the thousands still in place from the flooding on January 3 and 6. People in exposed coastal areas are being warned to take steps to protect their properties and vehicles, and to help elderly and vulnerable neighbours.
Attempts will be made to seal off roads and protect homes and shops in the areas worst affected last time.
The Isle of Man met office has issued warnings for today (Friday) and tomorrow, highlighting the potential for flooding around the times of the spring tides. The worst of the conditions is expected tomorrow.
Once again, coastal areas and harbours will be affected, particularly on Saturday, as high tides combine with gale force winds and deepening low pressure to create significant storm surges. An amber warning is in place for today, with the high tide at 11.30am predicted to reach a height of nearly eight metres accompanied by winds of up to 40mph. This will lead to overtopping in exposed coastal locations and a risk of minor flooding around inner harbour areas.
Heavy rain is also forecast for most of today, with a risk of localised flooding, swollen rivers and standing water on roads.
However, the impact of tidal flooding is expected to be much greater tomorrow.
A high tide of over eight metres is expected at 12.20pm, along with gales gusting up to 60mph.
The government is appealing to members of the public to keep clear of flood waters and areas where waves are breaking, stating: 'Extreme caution is also advised for those watching the storms, as some people put themselves at risk during the extreme weather earlier this month.'
Motorists are being advised to park vehicles away from promenades and harbours to avoid possible damage from flying debris and flood waters. Roads around harbours and proms expected to be affected will be closed.
For general help and support with flooding problems or storm damage, but not emergencies, the public are asked to call 850000.

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