Storm Dennis wreaks havoc on Merseyside

Share Button

Waves at New Brighton. Pic © JMU Journalism

Storm Dennis struck the UK this weekend, wreaking havoc across the shores and streets of Merseyside.

Marked as a bomb cyclone, Storm Dennis rapidly strengthened and caused a large drop in pressure within 24 hours, with heavy rain and strong winds.

This comes shortly after the damage already caused by Storm Ciara earlier in the month.

Dennis was one of the most intense North Atlantic storms ever recorded, and the effect that it has had on the region supports this.

Gusts of 80mph winds rocked the areas around the coast, with New Brighton once again suffering from flooding.

Waves grew large enough to pour over the sea wall and the authorities issued warnings to those heading close to the shoreline.

Last weekend, a man was stranded in the flood water from storm Ciara and pinned against railings by the tide at Fort Perch Rock, requiring emergency services to rescue him.

This time, Merseyrail was forced to make changes to its lines as the Met Office issued a yellow weather warning for strong winds and heavy rain. The Chester and Ellesmere Port lines were altered due to flooding and had a speed restriction imposed.

Zoe Hands, operations director for Merseyrail, said: “We apologise to any customers whose travel plans may be affected by Storm Dennis. We are working to ensure the network is as safe for travel as possible.”

YouTube: Ethan Jukes-Mcnee

Grange Cemetery in West Kirby was also forced to close due to the problem of tree safety. Wirral Council followed the advice of its own specialist after the incident that occurred in Hampshire when a 58-year-old man was struck by a falling tree and died at the scene.

Delays to road, rail, air and ferry transport are likely to subside after noon today but with winds of 50mph continuing to blow across Liverpool. However, the weather warning has been lifted and light showers are set to transfer into sunny intervals.

A spokesman for the MetOffice said: “The storm is coming to an end today with the last weather warning being issued for the wind and it should subside by mid-day with conditions gradually returning to normality.”

The National Trust gave an insight into the aftermath of the storm and how it has affected the coastline at Formby beach.

Andrew Brockbank, the countryside manager, told JMU Journalism: “The main impact was a consequence of Storm Ciara last week as the storm coincided with spring tides so a considerable storm surge caused erosion up to 10 metres along the dunes.

“It has left the coast without any beach access. The boardwalk has been substantially damaged and we are working to put in hand the remediation of this.

“We are left with steep dune cliffs and we urge people to not go close to the edge as it could slump. It is important that we get a machine on site as soon as we can to create more gentle slopes onto the beach.”

About Ethan Jukes-Mcnee, JMU Journalism