Despite fears of coastal flooding from Storm Dennis at the start of the half term holiday, Swanage was largely unaffected by the poor weather conditions. Although at high tide, the gale force winds did create some impressive waves that rolled in and sprayed over the Banjo Pier.
The main damage was to the coastline, with the already saturated cliffs continuing to erode due to the heavy rain. On Saturday, Dorset Council officials closed off the steps down to Shep’s Hollow, the beach at the north end of Swanage Bay. The handrail has partially slipped down the cliff and the path is crumbling away. There are further landslips on the beach, that the Swanage Coastguard is describing as ‘liquid mud’ and warning people to stay away.
To escape the wind and rain, most people stayed indoors or sheltered in the town’s cafes and restaurants. The Mowlem benefited from the weather, with its showing of the film Dolittle over the weekend being well attended by families.
Some travel disruption was experienced due to the weather conditions. The Sandbanks Ferry had to stop operating on Saturday at 8.35 pm and didn’t resume until 8 am on Sunday. There was also localised flooding with heavy rain and a blocked drain on Saturday causing the High Street to flood by The Swanage School.