Storm Arwen is expected to hit island with force 11 winds

GUERNSEY will be hit by force 11 winds as Storm Arwen hits the island this weekend, with wind speeds as high as 65mph expected today.

Storm Arwen is disrupting shipping including Commodore vessels and the Channel Chieftain V, which means there will be no national newspapers today. (Picture by Peter Frankland, 30245357)
Storm Arwen is disrupting shipping including Commodore vessels and the Channel Chieftain V, which means there will be no national newspapers today. (Picture by Peter Frankland, 30245357)

Jersey Met Office issued a red wind warning – the most serious – for the Channel Island area for last night and today.

Assistant harbour master Mike Harris said boat owners should check their moorings are secure as soon as possible.

‘Ensure before the weather is too bad that moorings are secure and that covers are battened down.

‘There hopefully won’t be damage if people are looking at their moorings, but people will be on duty should there be any incidents,’ he said.

Guernsey Police is advising islanders to check garden furniture is secure, and to expect possible disruption this morning.

People are also being advised to avoid walking on the coast and sea swimming when the wind gets particularly bad to ensure they keep safe.

Several sailings have been cancelled or delayed, including the Commodore Clipper which was due to be operating between Portsmouth and Guernsey today. This morning’s boat bringing the national newspapers from Jersey – the Channel Chieftain V – has also been cancelled.

Christmas shopping sailings to Herm have also been cancelled, with tomorrow’s sailings expected to be reviewed today.

Heavy rain and a possibility of thunder and lightning have been forecast to accompany the predicted 65mph winds.

The Royal Meteorological Society describes winds of that speed as very rarely experienced and accompanied by widespread damage.

The GSPCA has warned that the weather may put local wildlife at risk, as it may making it difficult for wild animals and birds to feed and rest. The charity is asking those who live around the coast to watch out for injured animals as well as seal pups, which can get separated from their mothers at this time of year in bad weather.

For those with animals living outside, the GSPCA is urging owners to ensure they have the shelter they require.

GSPCA manager Steve Byrne said: ‘When the wind and waves are up, oil that has settled on the seabed can be churned up and can cause seabirds and other animals harm.

‘Also we are at the start of the grey seal pup season and in bad weather they can often be separated from their mothers which can cause them to starve.’

GSPCA animal collection officer Geoff George said: ‘Grey seals are currently pupping and with the stormy weather we are asking those out along the coast to take care and not get too close if you see any.

‘Please do give us a call if you see a seal pup, on 257261, as we can check it is well from a safe distance.’

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