Christchurch’s coastal engineering team starting the recovery work at Avon Beach.

Christchurch’s coastal engineering team starting the recovery work at Avon Beach.

More than £2million of damage has been caused by the storms this winter in Christchurch.

Following the latest, most devastating storm on Friday night, recovering operations are continuing in the Borough.

With a top priority of ensuring the health and safety of members of the public, the whole of the Borough’s coastline is being assessed to see where damage caused by the storm must be repaired or made safe.

Over the weekend Christchurch Borough Council officers were given a great deal of help by personnel from the Royal Wessex Yeomanry in starting to clear up the beach huts which had been destroyed at Avon Beach and the debris which had been deposited along the coast.

Cllr Ray Nottage, Leader of Christchurch Council, said: “The military personnel and police officers were so helpful from Friday evening, supporting our own officers in getting sandbags delivered to properties at risk and helping us to deliver notices to homes where people were being advised to evacuate. The military then did sterling work at Avon Beach over the weekend.

“In addition we had enormous help from the Rapid Reaction Team operated by the Plymouth Brethren and the Wessex 4×4 Response team as well as a whole host of other volunteers who came to the aid of councillors and officers working through the weekend.

“Christchurch Countryside volunteers are continuing to help with the clear-up now to remove the debris deposited along the coastline. We can’t thank all of these people enough for all the help they have given and continue to give. This has been a great example of councils, police, the Environment Agency, the military and community volunteers working together in the face of unprecedented storms and flooding.”

Any trees which are at risk of toppling or causing further damage are being identified and dealt with as a priority. Ones which have already fallen will be dealt with as soon as possible following work on potentially dangerous trees.

It is estimated that more than £2million of damage has been caused by the storms this winter.

Cllr Nottage continued: “We are aware that some people unfortunately suffered from flooding on Friday night and, where we can, we will do what we can to help them. Considering the severity of the storm, we can be grateful that not more people were affected. Thankfully, the flood defence measures that have been put in place over the past few years have prevented even more devastation.

“Our councillors and officers will now be working to see where further prevention measures may need to be installed and, of course, continue with the operation to clean up the damage.

“We would ask members of the public to help us as much as possible by keeping away from areas which have suffered devastation and respect any fencing or taping we have put in place – it is there for their safety and will also allow us to get on with the work in hand.”

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