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Grands Vaux residents brace as Storm Ciarán approaches

Grands Vaux residents brace as Storm Ciarán approaches

Wednesday 01 November 2023

Grands Vaux residents brace as Storm Ciarán approaches

Wednesday 01 November 2023

Residents of estates that were devastated by flooding earlier this year have been urged to move their belongings to a safe place as the island prepares to be battered by Storm Ciarán.

Throughout today, Andium Homes are deploying sandbags across Grands Vaux in St Saviour and installing individual flood defences at Nicholson Close.

Sandbags were last deployed in the area in August following severe flooding in January, when 58 households were evacuated and more than 20 rendered uninhabitable. The Government declared a major incident.

As Jersey Met issued a Red warning last night, an email was sent to residents of the two estates, advising them to take preparatory action.

Grands Vaux (GoJ)

Pictured: Emergency services dealt with the flooding at Grands Vaux. (Government of Jersey)

The email gave residents advice on how to protect homes and belongings, including: moving all valuable items to upper floors, moving vehicles to different car parks and to higher ground, and securing all belongings in outdoor areas, gardens, and balconies (including trampolines, wheelie bins and other furniture).

One resident said the communication provided them with "a bit of reassurance".

Sand bags were also put out at Havre Des Pas yesterday, with the owner of Hooray Henri's beach kiosk Jayne Gruchy describing the preparations as "a bit like Dad's Army".

"I was a teenager in 1987 and [the storm then] was not anticipated and the island was hit badly," said Jayne.

"But this time I feel that more has been put in place and what to expect."

Other coastal businesses were getting ready to batten down the hatches yesterday, with 'Rhona's at the Beach' kiosk owner Rhona Hewitt – who never normally closes because of bad weather – admitting that she is "worried about this one".

jayne gruchy storm prep hooray henri's

Pictured: Jayne Gruchy and the sandbags being put into place at Hooray Henri's yesterday.

This morning, Pizza Quarter's Operations Director Ozzie Orchison said that the pizza company's coastal cabins had been robustly built and had weathered strong storms in the past.

He said: “We may close early this evening, but we plan to be open as normal tomorrow evening, once the storm has passed.

"We won’t be putting our delivery drivers at risk so we will be assessing the situation as it develops.

“We also been battening down our outside furniture too.”

The Lookout Café at First Tower closed this morning and will hopefully reopen on Friday. Front-of-house Manager Sam Mawhinney said that business was today preparing for the storm.

“We are building a wooden shield around the building and also putting out sandbags,” she said. 

“We’ve also put our outside furniture to one side. We want to get this storm out of the way and then we can focus on our Dine Out and Christmas menus.”

As well as hospitality establishments, numerous other businesses are closing their doors, with Coop food stores to close tonight until midday tomorrow.

Meanwhile, islanders have also been advised to contact the Jersey Homeless Outreach Group or Shelter Trust if they see anyone sleeping rough or hunkering down in a car park or beach shelters.

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