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Wales and the south emerge battered but not beaten

Storm-force winds of up to 130kmh combined with high spring tides to cause overtopping of coastal defences in southern England and Wales earlier this week, leaving hundreds of properties flooded.

The Maritime and Coastguard Agency reported that sea defences were breached on the Chichester coastline at Selsey, triggering the evacuation of 30 people from a caravan park and a precautionary coastline search for possible victims of the tides.

Meanwhile, 40 properties in Cornwall were flooded as a result of the high tides with isolated reports of flooding in Devon and Hampshire. In south-west Wales, 60 properties were flooded at the Carmarthen Bay Holiday Park. A further 11 were hit in Laugharne on the Taf estuary.

The Environment Agency's area flood risk manager for south-west Wales, Phil Pickersgill, said that on the whole, flood defences held up well against the storms. "The new defences put in at Dale, Aberystwyth and Solva in the last five years prevented coastal flooding quite well," he said.

"We had 11 road closures due to tidal overtopping onto the roads, and there was some debris thrown onto the road with it," he added. "The multi-agency response worked particularly well so we had people on the ground in the right places. I think we got it right."

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