After the storms, the big clean-up starts in Carmarthenshire


Teams of volunteers and council rangers have started a massive coastal clean up operation following the storms.
The work could take several months, and there is a warning that more coastal batterings could be endured at the beginning of February and March bringing more misery.
Last weekend bridges were torn up at one end of the Millennium Coastal Park at Bynea and hundreds of tonnes of sand shorn off dunes - leaving 25ft high sheer cliffs of sand - at Cefn Sidan, Pembrey.
Sea defences of £2million installed in recent years along the Bynea to Burry Port stretch have done a magnificent job to prevent any major intrusion of the sea.
The only weakness was found at Burry Port woodlands where the wind drove the high tides of last weekend in behind the walls of rock armour exposing the former Carmarthen Bay Power Station duff beds.
A large section was eroded by the sea turning it black, but this is of no concern because the material is inert.
Footpaths immediately behind this area are so close to the duff bank cliff edge that people are being warned to stay away as it overhangs in areas some 15 feet above the beach.
The major problem for Llanelli has been the volume of wind-blown sand that has built up at Llanelli promenade and around Llanelli North Dock car park.
Much of the sand sheered off dunes at Pembrey has blown five miles across the estuary to Llanelli to create dunes there.
Several times over the Christmas holiday rangers have had to dig out the Llanelli’s North Dock Discovery Centre, home of the coastal park’s visitor centre, from sand blocked doors to the depth of three feet.
Park manager Rory Dickinson: “Huge volumes of detritus from the sea has blown inland blocking, fields, footpaths and cycleways.
“A lot of rock has been cast ashore too and although this is not damaging it has to be collected and or pushed back and this involved a colossal amount of manpower.
“We have teams of volunteers from Mencap and other agencies who have rallied to our aid and it will cost us months of work. We need people to be patient because the issues we have could take many weeks and several months depending on what the wind and tides throws at us again.
“It is something of a thankless task too because tides forecast for the end of January and beginning of February and March are even higher than those we have experienced this weekend.
“The high tides are not really the problem. It is the wind driving them that causes swells of up to six feet above the tide levels that causes difficulties.”
The tides on Friday and Saturday were 8.5meters. The tide at the beginning of February and March are 8.7-metres.

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