Guernsey Press

Ferry sailings affected and fallen tree shuts Castel road

STRONG winds and rain showers will continue into next week, the Met Office has said, after tree surgeons battled the weather yesterday morning to clear a fallen tree blocking the junction between La Haye du Puits and Mont D’Aval.

Special Branch tree surgeons clearing the fallen horse chestnut tree yesterday morning at the junction between Mont D’Aval and La Haye du Puits, Castel. (Picture by Peter Frankland, 31498199)

The road was closed to the public in the early hours of the morning, and a team of four tree surgeons from Special Branch arrived at about 7.30am to clear the way.

‘A horse chestnut tree which we believe died about four months ago has come down with the strong westerly winds last night,’ said Special Branch owner Simon Marshall.

The tree was rooted on the private property at La Haye Du Puits and fell into the road.

‘We’re nearly done here, the client will keep the wood chips and the rest will go to be recycled,’ said Mr Marshall.

The road was closed to road users heading towards Saumarez Park, and traffic was diverted past Les Beaucamps High School.

The Met Office recorded that the maximum gust overnight was 51mph shortly after 1am on Tuesday, and there was a further 53mph blast at about 10am.

The 24-hour rainfall total for a dismal Monday was calculated at 10.8mm.

As the island faces the repercussions of the strong weather, Guernsey Harbours has experienced a number of cancellations, despite the Commodore Goodwill arriving in the island from Portsmouth at 3am yesterday morning, and departing again at 4.30am.

Last night’s Clipper sailing was cancelled and tomorrow it will be operating with freight only.

This morning’s Goodwill sailing, which was due to arrive at 4am, was expected to be pushed back to lunchtime.

In a post on social media, Guernsey Ports reminded all boat owners to ensure their vessels are appropriately secured and bilge pumps are successfully operating. It comes after reports of several vessels appearing low in the water, and there were concerns that some boats could sink at their moorings.

Sark Shipping sailings operated just one rotation, with eight passengers on board the 9.30am sailing from Guernsey and two passengers sailing from Sark at 11.45am.

Guernsey’s west coast has taken quite the battering over the past few days, with large waves coming over the sea wall and in some areas causing puddles in the road.

Yesterday lunchtime, a road sweeper was clearing the large amount of sand that was covering the road at Grandes Rocques and disrupting the grip of the tarmac.

The west to south-west winds today are estimated to stick around gale force six, with occasional force eight gusts, decreasing to force five overnight. There is also potential for thunder, which will die out in the evening.