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Storm Atiyah batters island

News | Published:

GUERNSEY is recovering from Storm Atiyah, after strong winds and rough seas saw boats cancelled, roads blocked and flights delayed.

And Storm Brendan is set to arrive today.

Heavy rain and severe gale force 10 winds on Sunday night caused destruction, resulting in signs, trees, walls and even rugby goal posts being knocked down.

Maximum gusts of 58 knots battered the island over the weekend – the highest in two years.

Meteorologists said there has been some respite since, but that it is due to pick up today with southerly force six to eight winds.

This will again decrease by this evening and picking up again on Thursday to force six to seven and continuing into Friday.

Fire & Rescue’s Green Watch were busy working alongside Guernsey Police throughout Sunday night clearing roadways of trees and general debris caused by these high winds.

States Works also took to the streets to deal with fallen trees and debris from the storm.

General manager of States Works Paul Lickley said they had dealt with a number of call-outs.

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‘We had around two or three calls in 24 hours,’ he said.

‘Thankfully there were no emergencies, but we’ve got the sweepers out and tree surgeons dealing with fallen trees and debris – we’re dealing with the aftermath.’

Trees fell in Route de Cobo between La Haye du Puits and Ruette de la Generotte and another large tree fell damaging a wall in Les Mauxmarquis, St Andrew’s.

And at the KGV playing fields, home to St Jacques Vikings Rugby Club, one of the rugby goal posts bent in the wind and snapped off.

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‘It happened overnight,’ said head groundsman Stuart Le Provost.

‘Though I’m not entirely sure what we’ll do at the moment, they come as a pair, so we’ll probably replace like-for-like as the sockets are already there.

‘We’ve got no games now until the New Year, so it shouldn’t be too bad, but we’ll want to replace them soon.’

In the Channel a number of large ships took shelter close to the French coast to avoid the worst of the storm.

Condor cancelled all of yesterday’s sailings for the Liberation. The Clipper departed Portsmouth late to avoid the worst of the weather, but still took an hour longer than usual to get to the island. The leg between Guernsey and Jersey was cancelled to ensure the Clipper could safely get back to the UK.

Commodore Goodwill - the freight boat - was due to arrive at 3am on Sunday, but the sailing was cancelled.

In the skies, numerous arrivals and departures were delayed and a number of flights to Alderney and Jersey were cancelled.

A Guernsey Ports spokesperson advised people to still arrive in good time for flights.

‘Delays can be frustrating,’ they said.

‘But the airlines do all they can to take off as safely and quickly as possible, so please ensure you arrive in good time of 90 minutes before departure.

‘I would suggest keeping an eye on social media in the coming days.’

Hurricane-force winds - peaking at gusts of 100mph - could batter Britain from today as Storm Brendan arrives.

Danielle Kenneally

By Danielle Kenneally
News reporter

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