Breakwater could ease flooding threat

By Martin Neville

Sunday, March 2, 2014

 

Breakwater could ease flooding threat

Flooding in Cowes High Street. Picture by Holly Fletcher

THE creation of an outer breakwater at Cowes could help ease flooding in the town, according to the town's harbourmaster. 

Harbourmaster Capt Stuart McIntosh said the creation of a sheltered harbour would protect against waves, which often compounded flooding.

He told harbour commissioners last Friday: "While the breakwater does not impact on the actual maximum tidal level, quite often with flooding you have a high tide compounded by wind and waves.

"The breakwater will reduce that wave action."

The Valentine’s Day storm saw seawater cascading down the High Street, threatening many businesses in the town.

Capt McIntosh said storm water drains were supposed to discharge into the estuary and were fitted with non-return valves.

But he said: "I’m not certain all those valves are working. A significant amount of water was flooded back through the drains."

He said the Environment Agency was primarily responsible for sea defences, though the section of coast from Egypt Point to the Cowes floating bridge was included in the IW Council’s coastal strategy.

"One of the big challenges with Cowes is quite a lot of the frontage is privately owned," he said.

"The High Street is at a lower level than Town Quay, which also presents a problem."

Reporter: martinn@iwcpmail.co.uk

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