Storm weather spectators urged not to take the risk
12:24 13 February 2014
Exmouth’s top police officer and the town clerk are urging extreme weather ‘spectators’ not to put themselves at risk for the sake of a pretty photograph.
Inspector Antonia Weeks said those taking pictures in bad weather were not only putting themselves at risk but potentially also the lives those who would be expected to save them.
And town clerk Colin Poole has warned of the dangers of getting too close to the sea wall during high tides, writes Paul Strange.
He asked people to use common sense if they were going to view the storms from the seafront.
Mr Poole was on the seafront last week as high tide brought piles of flotsam and jetsam cascading over the sea wall.
He said he was ‘amazed’ by the numbers of people on the seafront – many of who had to take a step back as water and lumps of wood and other junk came hurtling over the wall.
“People have to use their common sense,” he said. “If they look down at their feet there is debris. The water coming over the sea wall is probably 50 per cent water and 50 per cent wood. They shouldn’t be lulled into a false sense of safety.
“It’s one thing to go and watch, but watch at a sensible distance. Someone’s going to get hurt if they’re not careful.”
Insp Weeks said: “People should not underestimate the weather and put themselves at risk for the sake of getting a picture. It’s not just the wind and the rain, there may be debris – a path or wall may be in danger of collapse.
“People who go out in bad weather are not just putting themselves at risk but it may lead others to put themselves at risk to resolve the situation.”
Both Insp Weeks and Mr Poole also criticised motorists who drove down flooded roads, many of which were closed off.
Mr Poole said cars driving through flooded roads were causing backwash and leading to the flooding of gardens and properties.
“All the reports we’re getting of flooding of houses, none of it is just water. People are saying that it’s the cars that are doing it. The big red sign with Road Closed on them is a fairly large clue.”
Insp Weeks added: “I have seen people ignore warning signs, just walking or driving straight past them. We urge people to follow the advice given, and if there are warning signs or signs closing off a route, not to ignore them.
“They are there for a reason.”