Stormy weather causes travel chaos in Sussex

Storms hit Eastbourne again bringing a fierce sea with big waves and an almost deserted prom. February 5th 2014 E05171Q
Storms hit Eastbourne again bringing a fierce sea with big waves and an almost deserted prom. February 5th 2014 E05171Q

Residents faced more misery this week as high winds and heavy rain continued to pound the coast leading to travel chaos across Sussex.

The stormy weather has continued and follows the wettest January on record, which saw rivers burst their banks and some roads impassable.

The Environment Agency is urging people to take care near coastal paths and promenades as many areas are expected to see heavy rain lasting into the weekend and urged motorists not to drive through flood water.

In Sussex stormy conditions overnight on Tuesday saw the Pevensey area put on flood warning between the Sovereign Harbour and beach including the area of Beachlands, Normans Bay and The Cooden Beach Hotel.

The Sovereign Centre in Eastbourne was on standby on Tuesday night to provide shelter in case high tides forced local residents to leave their homes.

A spokesperson for Eastbourne Borough Council said, “Officers and local councillors from Wealden, Rother and Eastbourne visited seafront homes on Tuesday evening to warn householders of the possibility of flooding, to tell them about the rest centre and check on any vulnerable people.

“Eight people including a family of a six took refuge in the Eastbourne rest centre during the night, safe from the threat of flooding.”

A flood warning means flooding is expected and immediate action is required.

Part of Seaford was also put on a flood warning on Tuesday including areas of the seafront such as The Esplanade, areas behind and near the Martello Tower, Buckle Caravan and Camping Park and the Salts Recreation Ground.

On Wednesday rail passengers travelling between Eastbourne and Ashford International faced severe disruption due to shingle and flooding affecting the line between Bexhill and Hastings and a landslip between Newhaven Harbour and Seaford was also causing chaos for commuters.

Eastbourne Pier closed on Wednesday as a precaution due to the strong winds but re-opened after a few hours and it was back to business as usual with revellers able to head to Atlantis Nightclub in the evening. The weather did not see any damage caused to the pier.

Although the stormy conditions had eased slightly yesterday (Thursday) morning, the skies opened by lunchtime and there was still some disruption for commuters in Sussex. A spokesperson for Southern Railway said a full train service was planned for Thursday, adding, “The line between Bexhill and Hastings was cleared overnight and services are running normally this morning.”

However, repair work is underway on the Hastings line between Robertsbridge and Battle following a landslip which occurred on Monday and the line is set to be closed for up to two weeks while extensive repair work takes place.