Worthing lashed by storms and high seas

RESIDENTS were warned to stay away from Worthing seafront last week as high seas sent waves crashing over the top of the beach.

Temporary barriers were installed on Saturday after over-topping of the sea caused problems along the promenade.

The A259 near Brooklands was worst-hit, as the sea flooded the westbound carriageway, covering it in shingle. The road was temporarily closed while it was cleared.

Motorist Sean Marten, 43, of Grinstead Lane, Lancing, said: “The traffic was horrendous and I thought there might have been an accident but when we got to it, there was flooding and a lot of the beach was on the road.

“I was surprised to see it had reached the road as the beach has been built-up to stop it.It just proved how bad the storm was.”

Further breaches were experienced between Worthing Pier and the beach office and at the old Half Brick Pub, in Brighton Road.

The beach office was flooded as a result, and repairs were made to the pier after grating was lifted by the high water levels.

The sea defences were put in place by Worthing Borough Council and were filled with water by West Sussex Fire and Rescue Service, to add stability.

Firefighters were also called to a handful of weather-related incidents over the weekend.

On New Year’s Day, Argos, at Lyons Farm, had parts of its roof blown off on the northern side after winds whipped across the town.

Central operations group station manager Roy Barraclough said: “You would have expected the damage on the south side but the way the wind whipped across the roof caused some of its edging to come off. We were also called to the block of flats opposite the beach office, where the rendering was coming off as a result of water getting under it.

Rain also caused problems at Worthing Railway Station on Monday, when water damage put its lift out of action.

An apologetic Southern Rail said it would not be fixable until the rain ceased, with those booking under its assisted travel policy offered a taxi to the nearest accessible station.

But Worthing Access and Mobility secretary Norah Fisher said the lift often broke in bad weather.

She said: “It is very frustrating and I hope they repair it soon. It is quite a regular occurrence but generally it is a very accessible station.”

She added: “There’s lots of mums with pushchairs who would be affected, too. It’s very inconvenient.”

For the full story, see the Worthing Herald, out Thursday, January 9.