STORM damage has forced Southend Pier to close today, Sunday February 16.

Signs have been put up on the entrance to the Pier informing visitors that storm damage has forced the temporary closure, but that they hope to reopen tomorrow, Monday February 17.

The visitor information centre is also closed, on a sunny day in with many people disappointed at not being able to walk the length of the world’s longest pleasure pier.

The high winds and heavy rain seen over the past week, which saw gusts of more than 50mph registered in Southend, have clearly taken their toll on the pier, although there are no obvious signs of damage to onlookers.

Tony Bonham, Southend RNLI commander, said: “We only found out about it this morning.

“As far as we are aware there is no major damage to the pier because we still have access to it.

“I am sure they would not want to close it on a day like this if they did not have to.”