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Media Release - States of Guernsey update on Storm Ciaran impact

Media Release
For immediate use
Date: 2nd November 2023

States of Guernsey update on Storm Ciaran impact

While the severe weather from Storm Ciaran has begun to subside, the key advice remains to stay at home wherever possible for the time-being because the roads are treacherous.

More than 70 trees have fallen so far, with many still blocking roads along with other debris. Many roads remain closed with other impassable due to flooding. Traffic on the roads at this time just increases risk and slows the response.

Thankfully, there have at this stage been no reports of any injuries as a result of the storm.

Infrastructure
There has been in some cases significant damage to property and other infrastructure. Some social housing has been damaged and this is being assessed. At this stage there has not been a need for anyone to move out, but should that need to happen temporary accommodation will be arranged.

An area of the PEH near maternity was damaged by the storm. A corrugated plastic roof panel in one of the corridors popped out. Everyone is safe and there is no risk to patients, who have been able to remain in situ. The hospital is operating as normal.

Schools
As announced yesterday, inspections are being carried out now and into early afternoon across all education sites to ensure there is no damage that would make it dangerous for students and staff to return tomorrow. The intention remains for education settings to return tomorrow morning, however we will provide an update this afternoon to either confirm those plans or amend them.

Airport and harbour
The Guernsey Airport terminal building and the QEII Marina both suffered some damage as a result of the high winds. No structural damage has yet been reported to breakwaters or other key infrastructure. Guernsey Ports staff will be carrying out a visual inspection once tidal conditions permit.

Some damage has been sustained to pontoons in the QEII marina, and Guernsey Ports maintenance staff attended early this morning to secure a loose section. Boatowners are being asked not to attend to check on their vessels until weather conditions improve.

Some panels on the roof of the airport terminal roof were also dislodged by the winds. Guernsey Ports staff are now in attendance to assess the damage.

Guernsey Airport and Alderney Airport are both closed today. Normal operations are expected to resume from 10am tomorrow. St Peter Harbour remains open but sailing schedules continue to be impacted by the weather.

States Works
States Works is expecting significant clean-up efforts across the island once the high tide has passed. Staff are currently out now assessing the main roads and will likely prioritise storm boards and cleansing efforts between St Sampson's and Town in the first instance.

Updates
For the latest information, please visit www.gov.gg/stormciaran. The webpage continues to be kept up to date.

Ruari Hardy, Head of Bailiwick Law Enforcement and Chair of the Strategic Coordinating Group for the Storm Ciaran response, said:

'While we are certainly through the worst of the storm I must emphasise that we're continuing to ask for the community's support in staying at home, staying off the roads unless absolutely necessary. The reason for this advice is not due to the current weather conditions, but because of the after-affects of the storm. More than 70 trees have fallen, we have flooding on some major roads, there is debris in more other areas and all of that combined means it is still dangerous to be driving on the roads right now.

'That advice will likely change later today but for the time-being I would ask islanders to continue supporting the emergency services leading on trying to restore us back to normality as soon as possible.

'We collectively weathered the storm well as an island. Most importantly, as the protection of life is always our primary focus, we have had no reported injuries as a result of the story and that's great news. However, for some islanders they are today facing significant challenges as a result of damage to properties and vehicles and support is being provided where necessary.'

Ends

Notes to Media
Issued by: Joel de Woolfson
Joel.dewoolfson@gov.gg