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Clean up operation begins in Wirral after tidal surge
9:43am Friday 6th December 2013 in News
A MAJOR clean-up operation has begun in Wirral after a tidal surge caused major flooding on coastal areas.
Wirral Council is picking up the pieces this morning, with extra staff on hand to help clean up debris left after the surge, which saw restaurants, shops and cars flooded.
Council chief executive Graham Burgess: “I would like to take this opportunity to thank everyone who is involved in the process of restoring normality to the borough’s coastal areas.
"Officers from the council continue to work alongside our partners in the public and private sector and have responded quickly and effectively to the damage caused by the rare combination of extremely strong winds and high tides.
“The clean-up process will continue over the weekend in many areas.
"I would urge anyone who is aware of any damage that has not yet been acknowledged by the council to contact Streetscene immediately and report it.”
Extra crews from Biffa are working in all the affected areas to remove debris.
Residents who wish to get involved are being encouraged to support a community-led clean-up event at Vale Park on Saturday morning at 10.30am.
There have been reports of highways and "street furniture" being damaged, and these will be inspected and repairs prioritised as quickly as possible.
The council’s Building Control officers have been working throughout Thursday and Friday to assess all reports of structural damage.
Such was the power of the sea at noon yesterday that sections of railings and feet-thick concrete tide-breaks were ripped apart and the debris scattered across the promenade at West Kirby, Hoylake and Meols, forcing roads to be closed.
Initial inspections are showing that the integrity of sea defences remains sound. Coastal engineers are out undertaking further inspections, and repairs will begin as soon as possible.
Today, Dee Lane and South Parade in West Kirby as well as Marine Promenade in New Brighton are closed both ways due to flooding.
New Brighton's Championship Adventure Golf Course is likely to be closed for at least two months after it was all-but washed away yesterday.
The attraction, which only opened in March of this year, now resembles what owners described as a "swimming pool" rather than a miniature golf course.
Proprietor Nick Ashfield told the Globe it was the worst news he could receive.
“We have got four days of pumping out ahead of us now – it looks more like a swimming pool rather than a miniature golf course,” he said.
“It was just unbelievable. I could not image in my worst dreams what was happening
“We have only been open for eight months – it is the very worst news to be honest.
“It’s not good - but the fight back begins today and we will come back shiny and new for next year.”
Many businesses at the £50m Marine Point development remain closed today.
A spokesman for developers Neptune said: “It is still an ongoing situation.
"Everyone is pulling together and working very hard to get things back up and running.
“Caffe Cream is open today and La Tasca will be opening tonight.
“One of the issues is that the power is out at the moment because of the flooding so a couple of businesses will be making arrangements to get their own generator in the interim while we get things sorted."
Liverpool Coastguard has warned people to stay away from coastal areas today, due to a risk of high tides and has predicted waves could reach 9.7 metres unless the strong winds ease.
No incidents were reported over night by Merseyside Fire and Rescue but search and rescue teams remain on alert today.
There will be no ferry service this morning and a bus replacement will be in operation from Seacombe to Hamilton Square.
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