Storm Eunice blows through Swanage with gusto

As Storm Eunice approached Swanage, the Met Office upgraded its wind warning for the area from Amber to Red – the highest level of alert.

While strong westerly winds did gust across Purbeck in Dorset on Friday 18th February 2022, in the end, damage to trees and buildings was limited.

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It’s usually easterly winds that cause most damage to Swanage, blowing off the sea and throwing debris on to the seafront.

Storm Eunice and a stormy sea in Swanage
Caroline ABBOTT

The sea in Swanage Bay was very choppy

Sandbanks flooded

More affected was nearby Sandbanks at the mouth of Poole Harbour and the Sandbanks Ferry suspended its service around midday. It announced:

“Due to the bad weather still continuing, and very high tide due later on this evening we have taken the decision that the Sandbanks Ferry will remain closed for the rest of today.”

It’s expected to restart the service at 7 am on Saturday 19th February 2022.

Ironically, the slipway and road at Sandbanks was flooded.

Sandbanks Ferry in Storm Eunice
Sandbanks Ferry

A member of staff on the Sandbanks Ferry captured this image just before service was suspended

Minor damage in Swanage

In Swanage there were reports of minor damage to trees, a few fences collapsing, broken panes in greenhouses and the odd brick and tile fallen from buildings.

Wareham Fire engine
Wareham Fire Station

Wareham Fire crew were called to North Bestwall Drive

“Trapped under a 40 foot tree”

However in Wareham, the Dorset and Wiltshire Fire and Rescue Service reported that it had to rescue a man who’d been trapped by a fallen tree.

A spokesperson said:

“We were called to North Bestwall Drive, Wareham at 12.51 pm to help the ambulance service with a casualty who had been trapped under a 40 foot tree.

“Two crews attended, from Wareham and Bere Regis, and saws were used to cut away branches and free the man. Our stop was at 1.42 pm and I believe the gentleman was taken to hospital as a precaution.”

Mud on the beach in Swanage
Caroline ABBOTT

After the storm, mud and rocks from the cliffs littered Swanage Beach

“Firefighters can only help when people are in danger

Across Dorset fire crews attended 22 storm related incidents and an additional five incidents were attended by an officer in Dorset.

Group manager Wayne Jones thanked those who did not call 999 about general storm damage. He said:

“Firefighters can only help when people are in danger, or electrics are involved and creating a potential fire hazard.

“Although the worst of the weather has hopefully passed, we would still urge people to please consider whether there is a genuine danger before calling 999; fallen trees should be reported to the local authority, and damage to your home is something that needs to be resolved with a contractor and your insurance.”

Storm Eunice with Ballard Down

Ballard Down in the midst of Storm Eunice

Staying wet and windy

The weather forecast for Swanage is expected to stay wet and windy over the weekend.

The Met Office has issued a Yellow wind warning from 6 am to 6 pm on Saturday 19th February 2022 across the South Coast of England including Swanage.

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