THE fight is on to restore Dorset’s crumbling beaches after another wave of severe weather battered the coastline.
Military vehicles arrived on Chesil Beach on Portland this weekend to restore flood defences and emergency repair work had to be completed at Preston Beach.
The Environment Agency will be working with the Royal Navy this week to preserve Chesil Beach.
Gareth George from the Environment Agency said that equipment and materials were sent over to Chesil Beach on Saturday.
Royal Navy lieutenant Jenny Kedge added: “We sent through equipment to support the Environment Agency in their work on protecting and enhancing flood defences here on Chesil Beach.”
Preston Beach also suffered the brunt of the storm and emergency repair work involving large boulders and heavy equipment had to be carried out on Saturday.
An Environment Agency spokesperson added: “Preston Beach was dangerous during repairs so we urged residents to keep away for their own safety.
“The recent storms have reduced Preston Beach’s crest from 15 metres to just three metres.”
Preston Beach Road was closed from 11am until around 3pm on Saturday.
A severe flood warning for Chiswell on Portland was put in place from 2pm on Saturday and overnight.
Environment Agency officials and Dorset Police monitored the tide at Chesil Beach from 8am on Saturday and police community support officers ensured people were safe.
Chiswell residents were well prepared and protected their homes with sandbags.
Resident Christina Moody said: “I’m trying what I can to protect my home. I’ve used sandbags but we are right on the front line of any bad weather here.”
The Cove House Inn was open to customers, although the pub’s boarded-up windows showed the ferocity of the storm.
Joint owner Mandy Broughton-South said: “The storms this weekend weren’t expected to be as bad as Wednesday’s weather so we weren’t as worried.”
West Bay Esplanade was closed due to the stormy weather while Milton Road at Milborne St Andrew and the West Stafford bypass were also closed over weekend due to flooding.
* THREE cars and a caravan were severely damaged after high winds blew down a large wall in a resident’s car park on Grosvenor Road.
Resident Andy White, 49, said: “I woke up at 7am here thinking it was lightning, the next thing I knew the wall had been knocked down by the wind.”
* A WALL in Southill was also knocked down by fierce winds and a large tree was brought down at County Hall in Dorchester.
Warning over wave dodging
COASTGUARDS are warning people to stay away from the water’s edge and stay safe in the stormy conditions battering Dorset.
Another safety warning has been issued as weather watchers headed outside to catch a glimpse of the strong waves and gale force winds over the weekend.
A spokesperson for Portland Coastguard said: “What’s interesting is that we have got coastguard patrols out and about and it seems there has not been as many people out watching the waves which is, of course, a good thing.
“We continue to urge people to stay away from coastal areas when it is windy and rough, because you not only have the risk of being hit by waves but also being blown into water by strong winds and the added risk of cliff falls.”
Darren Trent, from Portland, took the photo of three males right by the edge of the water at Red Crane on the island on Saturday.
He said most people in the area were standing well back but these three were right by the edge and nearly got caught out when a larger wave came in.
Mr Trent, 38, said: “They were stood right by the edge and had to make a run or a jump for it.”
An Environment Agency spokesperson added: “We are urging people to keep away from seafronts and promenades when waves and winds are high.”