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More holes appear in island’s seawall
6:00pm Tuesday 7th January 2014 in Echo News
MORE holes have appeared in Canvey’s old seawall just as another severe storm battered the UK.
Another huge section has been torn away by fierce winds leaving vast areas of the old coastal defences exposed, as more severe weather hit on Friday.
Concerned councillors reported large concrete slabs and chunks of asphalt breaking away from the old seawall, to the Environment Agency in August, but the damage has still not been fixed.
Serious concerns have been raised about the structural integrity of the pathway overhead, which was built alongside the new seawall after the great flood in 1953. The slabs provide a vital part of the island’s coastal protection by reducing the impact of waves striking the seawall above.
Concerns have also been raised about the gateway to the main sluice on the seafront, which has been taken away by the tide.
Dave Blackwell, county councillor and leader of the Canvey Independent Party, said: “There is a great hole there and it’s got about four or five times bigger in the past week. I’ve never seen anything like it.
“I’m really concerned it’s going to get worse, with the bad weather they’re predicting.
“The grill covering the sluice has gone and left a big opening for anyone to fall into. It’s so dangerous.”
It comes as a 30ft hole was discovered in the garrison sea defences in Shoebury, caused by rough seas on New Year’s Day.
Colin Letchford, from the Friends of Concord Beach group, said: “The fierce storms really have wreaked havoc on the seafront.
“There are at least three gaping holes and they’re getting bigger.
“There is no danger to Canvey as we have the new seawall, but people see it and get worried.”
Canvey county councillor Ray Howard, who sits on the regional flood and coastal committee for the Anglian region, said he will be taking up the issue at their next meeting.
He said: “I’ve spoken to the top officials about this, because we want this work done as quickly as possible.
“We want this work done very quickly, because we don’t want this to deteriorate any further, especially as we’ve had some awful weather ahead.”
A spokeswoman for the Environment Agency said: “We are aware of the damage and we did start work on it before Christmas. However, high tides have meant we had to stop work.
“We are hoping to finish the work during January, but have to work around the high tides.
However, it remains a high priority for us to fix it.”
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