Devon and Cornwall storm: Worst-hit spots

Damage in Dawlish Image copyright Getty Images

The storms which hit the south-west coast of England have battered communities across Devon and Cornwall.

Families have been evacuated as seas invaded homes, power lines were brought down and a key railway line was put out of action.

The government has pledged tens of millions of pounds to help those affected by the devastation.

So which were the worst-affected areas and how are they coping?


Image copyright Reuters

Four sections of the sea wall at Dawlish, each up to 90m long, were breached, leaving the main railway line between Devon and Cornwall and the rest of the UK dangling in mid-air. Twenty people were evacuated from seafront homes. Network Rail has estimated that repairs will take "in the order of six weeks". The damage has started a debate about the long-term future of the railways in Dawlish and whether another inland route should be developed.


The Cornwall coastal community of Kingsand was under siege from stones hurled by the sea into the main street, smashing windows and leading to the evacuation of about 20 households. A Grade-II listed clock tower on the seafront has been condemned by the fire service because it is at risk of crumbling into the water. Local councillors are meeting to decide what to do next.


The beach cafe at Seaton, near Looe, in Cornwall, was left a splintered wreck by the storm. Ali Devereux, of the Smugglers Inn pub in the village, said: "It's taken a section of the pavement six or seven feet long and thrown it into on to the road. The sea was flooding down the valley, it was astonishing."

Plymouth Fish Market

Storms have led to a dramatic fall in supplies, with fishermen unable to get out to sea. The market, which usually deals with about 40-50 tonnes of fish a day, had nothing on Wednesday and Thursday. Alison Pessell, of Plymouth Trawler Agents, said: "We are desperately trying to find something for sale tomorrow morning."


Boats were sinking at Porthleven's harbour in Cornwall, with some dramatic pictures emerging of waves smashing into the seafront. Fishing boats have been hauled from the harbour after a wooden barrier broke, leaving vessels at the mercy of future storms for weeks until it is replaced.

Plymouth Hoe

Restaurants and cafes were hit by huge waves which topped the sea defences on Plymouth's seafront, tearing up decking and smashing windows. St Austell Brewery, owner of the Waterfront pub, has closed it until further notice. Spokesman Paddy Gribbin said: "We could never have anticipated this. The sea ripped off coping stones from the wall and threw them 40m. All the fixtures and fittings have been taken away by the tide."


Four homes were evacuated after the coastal community in south Devon was hit by stones thrown over the sea defences by the storm. The nearby road at Slapton, which connects villages along the coastline, was covered in sand. Carpenters, masons and labourers from South Hams District Council helped to make homes watertight. Engineers are also trying to assess whether the road has been damaged.


Hundreds of paving stones were ripped from the promenade, which was destroyed in one 10m-long section at nearby Newlyn, but surfers made the most of the weather with waves peaking along the harbour wall. Engineers are inspecting the damage to South Quay in Penzance.

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