60ft waves crash on to the seafront

Damage caused to seafront in November 2010
Damage caused to seafront in November 2010

GALE force winds of almost 50mph rocked Bridlington this week, sending 60ft tall waves crashing on to the seafront.

The Environment Agency issued a Flood Warning for the town at the start of the week amid fears that the violent weather would wreak havoc on Bridlington’s sea defences.

The north pier was closed to visitors on Sunday to prevent unwitting onlookers from being swept over the edge and the town’s shell fishing fleet was grounded - they were expected to go back to sea yesterday.

According to a Met Office spokeswoman, Bridlington’s wind speed peaked on Monday with gusts of up to 48mph.

This came on the tail of 35mph and 40mph gusts in the town over the weekend, which saw seafront visitors reaching for their cameras to snap the spectacular sight of massive waves crashing over the promenade.

Monday’s exceptional conditions prompted East Riding of Yorkshire Council’s coastal engineer Neil McLachlan to make a further inspection on the state of the foundations of Royal Prince’s Parade and especially the point where it joins the north pier.

Mr McLachlan said: “We need to ensure the harsh conditions have not caused any serious damage.”

Over £30,000 worth of damage was caused to the area last November when crashing waves flung seawall masonry across the fairground, but this time the area appears to have emerged from its latest battering unscathed.

Earlier this year Mr McLachlan and his team conducted checks on the the sea wall foundations which had suffered from a loss of sand over the years, leaving the original stone footings exposed.

A programme of repair work to underpin part of the wall is expected to start sometime next year once Environment Agency funding has been approved.

“The worry is in very rough seas the water could suck sand and gravel from beneath the stone foundations making them unstable.

“The wall is not going to fall down, but we need to carry out work to ensure its future,” said Mr Mclachlan.

The wild weather had calmed by Tuesday and although the gales brought a distinct chill to the air, latest figures available from the Met Office suggest that this is one of the warmest Octobers in Bridlington for some time.

Half-monthly statistics for the month reveal that the maximum temperature reached was 16.6 degrees, 4 degrees above the long term monthly average.

Meanwhile, the minimum temperature recorded in the region was still a relatively mild 9.3 degrees, almost 4 degrees warmer than the average minimum for October.

The average temperature in October for Yorkshire is usually 9.2 degrees but already the Met Office has recorded an average mean temperature of 13 degrees and the forecast for the rest of the week shows no sign of any drastic deterioration in the weather.

Today (Thursday) is expected to be cloudy with temperatures peaking around 14 degrees. The same is forecast for tomorrow and the weekend.