STRONG winds have caused havoc along Southend seafront as Storm Brendan hit, forcing several businesses to close.

The tide was unusually high for the time of year making matters worse.

Huge waves crashed over the sea wall around 3pm and flooded a large stretch of the promenade along Eastern Esplanade, which then spilled out into the road.

Southend Standard: Picture: Aaron CheshamPicture: Aaron Chesham

The fierce tides came into Roberto’s ice cream parlour but luckily, staff managed to move some of the equipment higher up to avoid any damages.

Several passersby stopped to watch the dramatic turn of events.
Garry Lowen, of Glen Eagles Guesthouse, said: “I have lived in Southend all my life and I’ve never seen the affects of the sea like that in all of my lifetime.

“It was almost like being on north coast of Scotland. 

“I feel sorry for the businesses along there and I hope they’re not too damaged.

“We were on our way back from a meeting and stopped the car at bottom of Palmeira Avenue and we couldn’t believe it.”

Southend Standard: Picture: John HarlandPicture: John Harland

Other businesses to close included The Three Shells and The Beach Hut.

The Beach Hut was completely swamped by the waves.

The pier was also closed to the public.

Julie Hardy, a Southend resident, said: “We just stopped for a bit - a seafront moment - and couldn’t believe it.

“Everyone was taking pictures. 

"It started to calm as we left but had apparently been even more dramatic earlier."

Southend Standard: Picture: Aaron CheshamPicture: Aaron Chesham

A spokesman for Southend Council, said: “Western Esplanade on the seafront is experiencing flooding due to the strong winds from Storm Brendan.  

“Motorists, pedestrians and cyclists are currently advised to avoid the road where possible and seek alternative routes.”

The Met Office issues a yellow weather warning for today and tomorrow.

Visit, www.metoffice.gov.uk for updates.