Work continues to help Coverack clean up after flash floods

Work continued today by Cornwall Council and partner agencies to repair the damage caused by a flash flood through the village of Coverack earlier this week.

Today drains and culverts throughout Coverack and surrounding areas were cleared of debris deposited by the flash floods. All the highways drains in the village have been checked and cleared with staff from the Environment Agency checking all the culverts.

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Work continued on repairing the B3294, with heavy plant machinery arriving earlier today to remove the surface of the road so that detailed investigations can be carried out into the damage to the underneath of the carriageway.

The damage caused to the roads by the flash floods means that more than 150 tonnes of rubble has to be removed. Teams from CORMAC have cleared a path through the rubble for construction vehicles to access the site, and will be removing the remainder of the debris over the next few days. The road will remain closed until the repairs have been completed.

The floods have also caused damage to parts of the coast path. The section of coast path at Rosenithon is currently closed, with a diversion in place round the back of Dean Quarry. The rest of the coast path to Coverack from Lowland Point has suffered some damage but is still open. The coast path between Coverack and St Keverne is also closed, as is the section at Sunny Corner.

Councillor Geoff Brown, the Council’s Cabinet Member for Transport, visited the village this morning and praised the work of the agencies and the local community in supporting the recovery operations.

“Staff from all the agencies are working flat out to carry out the clean up and help the village to return to normal as quickly as possible “ he said. “There has been a fantastic response both from the local community and from volunteers and I would like to thank everyone who is working so hard.

“Work on repairing the road is progressing well and I am hopeful that it will be completed quicker than we originally estimated. I said on Wednesday that we were looking at completing the repairs within weeks, rather than months, and I am now hoping that the road will be open in the not too distant future”.

Work is also continuing to support the owners of the 50 properties which were affected by flooding, with skips being provided in the centre of the village. Arrangements are also being put in place to dispose of larger household items, such as sofas and carpets, with anyone needing assistance asked to call the Cornwall Council emergency line on 0800 7313247.

Up to five houses in the village are currently believed to be uninhabitable and staff from the Council’s Localism team are working with partners to find temporary accommodation for people who cannot immediately return home.

Community Link Officers from Cornwall Council have been on hand at the Paris Hotel in Coverack to provide help throughout today, and will also be at the hotel tomorrow, and during next week to provide advice and support.

“Members of the Localism team have been doing a fantastic job of supporting the local community “ said Council Leader Adam Paynter. “They have seen more than 100 people so far, with a wide range of queries and concerns. These range from finding temporary accommodation and disposing of waste, to concerns over accessing their properties because of damage to minor roads and lanes. “

“Members of the Localism team will be based at the Paris hotel between 10 am and 4pm tomorrow, and will also be at the hotel every day next week to provide advice and support”.

Representatives from all the key agencies involved in the clean up will be attending the second residents’ meeting which is being held at the Paris Hotel at 11 am tomorrow morning ( 21 July) to provide an update on the progress which is being made, and answer any questions.

The meeting, which will be hosted by Council Leader Adam Paynter, will also include information on the support which is available for businesses which have been affected by the floods, including council tax relief, and advice from the British Association of Insurers.

The Council is continuing to work with Volunteer Cornwall who will coordinate offers of assistance from members of the community to provide support. Offers of assistance can be reported via 0800 7313247.

The Cornwall Community Foundation has also confirmed that financial assistance can be provided to affected residents needing immediate help. Details on how to access this can be obtained from the Community Link Officers or from the Cornwall Council emergency line - 0800 7313247.

We are working with the local landowners to identify locations to provide temporary parking.

As reported yesterday, potential pollution from a broken sewer line remains a health concern. South West Water has carried out an initial assessment and confirms that there are no reported issues with mains supply drinking water however, the main sewage line has been breached which means the local streams and beach may be contaminated. Precautionary warning signs have been placed near the beach and two local streams while works are carried out to repair the breach.

People are advised not to go near the water and if they come in contact with the water to make sure they wash their hands and follow good hygiene practices. Precautions should also be taken with regards to pets and livestock.

Anyone who gets their drinking water from a private water supply such as a borehole, spring or well which has potentially been covered by floodwater is advised to look out for a change in water quality, such as the water becoming discoloured or there is a change in taste or smell, should assume the water is unsafe to drink unless boiled and should continue to use boiled water for drinking and bathing until the supply has been tested and shown to be safe.

People with private drainage such as septic tank or cess pits are also being advised to have them checked to ensure that they are still operating correctly after the floods.

The Council’s website has useful information on flood recovery www.cornwall.gov.uk/coverack and we will be posting updates specifically about what is happening in Coverack.

People who wish to make a donation can do so via Cornwall Live’s just giving page www.justgiving.com/crowdfunding/CornwallLive

Agencies who have been working with Cornwall Council to provide assistance to the Coverack community include CORMAC, Cornwall Fire and Rescue and Community Safety Service, Environment Agency, South West Water, HM Coastguard, Volunteer Cornwall, Public Health Cornwall and Devon and Cornwall Police.

Story posted 20 July 2017