North West Wales

Coast battered in storm hitting Gwynedd and Anglesey

The north west Wales coast has been battered by severe gale force winds overnight, causing damage to boats, delaying ferries and cutting off power.

Boats broke free from their moorings along the Gwynedd coast, as winds of up to 84mph were recorded.

On the Four Mile Bridge at Anglesey, a yacht capsized with a broken mast. Up to 1,500 Scottish Power customers are also still without electricity.

Elsewhere, fallen trees were reported in mid and west Wales.

Camping

Helmsman with the Criccieth lifeboat Chris Fisher was transferred aboard a 38ft motor cruisder, Joba, which had broken from its moorings at Porthmadog harbour.

"The motor cruiser had drifted up the harbour and was in danger of being slammed against the Britannia Bridge or damaging other craft in the harbour," said Mr Fisher.

RNLI shore helpers helped keep two yachts off the harbour wall.

Wayne Roberts, station manager with Criccieth coastguard, said the high tide at Porthmadog harbour was the biggest he had seen in his 17 years' service.

"The water was awesome down there. The sea spray was coming in horizontally - it wasn't going up at all, it was horizontal straight into your face," he said.

"The boats were getting bobbed around like a cork in a goldfish bowl. It was that rough out there."

He said he expected there to have been a lot of damage to boats but was not aware that any had sunk.

Richard Workman, the manager of the Shell Island campsite near Harlech in Gwynedd, said it was the highest tide he had seen in July.

"It was more like the storms you usually see in December," he said.

Seven boats had broken free from their moorings, although only one was damaged, he added.

Other property was damaged however and 95% of campers left during the night.

"One staff member, who was camping on site, was also injured as she was dragged along and hurt her leg."

Barry Priddis, watch manager with Holyhead coastguard, said ferries had to wait up to two hours before docking.

"The ferries across to Ireland have been affected. They were delayed last night because of the wind - they couldn't berth," he said.

Image caption There were reports of trees being blown down, such as this one in Neath

"They had to spend two hours outside of Holyhead just waiting for a lull before they could come alongside."

He said there were also problems in the Menai Strait between Anglesey and the Welsh mainland.

"We've had three yachts in the Menai Strait just off Beaumaris that have broken moorings," he said.

"We've also had reports of another one this morning at Menai Bridge which has capsized due to the high winds.

"We had another yacht at Four Mile Bridge, which is on Anglesey by the inland sea, which had broken its moorings and which had actually struck the bridge.

"The mast had broken and was getting in the way of traffic going over the bridge so we informed the police about that."

A spokesperson for Holyhead port control said 391 passengers were on a ferry which could not dock for a time because of the weather.

"The Stena Adventurer got in at 2am and it normally comes in at about 40 minutes after midnight," he said.

"She just did a little tour round, kept moving until the weather improved, then she just came in."

A spokesman for Scottish Power said 1,500 customers were without electricity in Anglesey and Gwynedd.

"We expect the majority to be back on this afternoon, and the others during this evening," he added.

Fallen power cables

The spokesman said problems were numerous, with lots of debris being blown around by the high winds.

"We apologise for the inconvenience caused, but the weather has been very difficult," he added.

Strong winds were also experienced further south along the coast towards Pembrokeshire but there were no reports of damage to boats.

Mid and West Wales Fire and Rescue Service said crews attended several weather-related incidents, including minor flooding at a couple of properties.

There were some problems for motorists on Friday morning following the severe weather, and strong winds were forecast for much of the day.

The A498 was blocked in both directions at Prenteg, Gwynedd, because of a fallen tree, causing delays of around 20 minutes.

On Anglesey, Ffordd Caergybi in Llanfairpwll was partially blocked due to a fallen tree and fallen power cables between Ffordd Penmynydd and Lon Ty Croes.

Dyfed Powys Police responded to several calls about fallen trees on minor roads in Pembrokeshire, Carmarthenshire and Brecon, Powys.

The A477 Cleddau Bridge in Pembrokeshire was also closed for a time to high-sided vehicles but is now open for all traffic.

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