Burnham-On-Sea, Somerset
Huge storm waves battered Burnham seafront on Saturday 12 February 2005

February 13, 2005
Huge waves hit Burnham's seafront as 60mph winds sweep in

Storm waves near St Andrews Church on  Burnham seafront on Saturday 12 February 2005Huge waves battered Burnham's seafront over the weekend as 60mph gales combined with some of the highest tides of the year.

The spectacular storm was watched by a few hardy walkers along The Esplanade on Saturday and Sunday mornings as the waves and spume soared over the sea wall - and even over the rooftops of buildings along the seafront, pictured above.

The Environment Agency closed all three of the town's flood gates as a precaution - one at the town's jetty, another at Maddocks Slade at the northern end of The Esplanade, and a third at the Yacht Club at the southern end of the seafront.

And two of the Agency's staff were instructed to stay on watch along the seafront to monitor the storm at around 9am - the height of the tide - to ensure no further action was needed.

A spokesman told Burnham-On-Sea.com that the storm had been one the strongest to hit Burnham for several years. "We've not seen rough waves like this, blowing over the top of the tourist information centre since the storms of 2002. Fortunately, there's been no flooding on this occasion," he said.

While there was no serious damage, seaweed and debris was strewn across The Esplanade in several places and, further along the coast, the sand dunes were cut back in several places at Brean and Berrow.

Sand yachting enthusiast Andy MathersOne person who welcomed Saturday's gales was sand yachting enthusiast Andy Mathers from the West Midlands (pictured).

He's a frequent visitor to Burnham and took advantage of the high winds on Saturday to speed along the beach at up to 40mph once the tide had retreated.

He said: "I heard the weather forecast last night and drove down especially today. These kind of conditions are superb for sand yachting."


Burnham lifeboats out on training on Sunday February 13th 2005

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