Storm Eunice: Everything you need to know in Wirral

UPDATED: 8pm Friday 18 February 2022.

The Met Office has weather warnings  in place for Storm Eunice as forecasts show strong winds and high astronomical tides today (18 Feb) will pose a combination of risks for coastal areas in particular, such as Wirral. There is currently an amber weather warning in place for Merseyside, with a heightened risk between 12 noon and 4pm.

Flooding

Surge forecasts now show a 1.4m surge for Friday’s 12:26pm tide giving an overall tide height of 10.7m. This forecast, along with the current predictions that storm Eunice will bring gusts of up to 75mph, mean conditions are similar to December 2013 and will likely cause SEVERE overtopping. It is possible promenades could be affected up to three hours before and after high tide. 

Areas most likely to be affected will be:

  • South Parade, West Kirby, 
  • North Parade, Hoylake,
  • Meols Parade, Meols,
  • Kings Parade and Ian Fraser Walk, New Brighton,
  • Mersey River Wall, New Brighton to Seacombe,
  • Woodside Business Park, Birkenhead,
  • The Dell, New Ferry.

The message for residents is to avoid coastal areas, particularly those listed above. 

Visit the Flood Hub for more general advice and guidance on minimising the risk to your property from flooding

On the coast

HM Coastguard has issued a plea for people to stay away from the coast as Storm Eunice hits the UK.

There have been multiple reports of people at the waterline taking pictures of the waves, and even of families standing by the surf line with their children.

The Met Office has issued a red ‘danger to life’ weather warning and winds of 122mph have been recorded.

HM Coastguard Tactical Commander Ben Hambling said, “The reports we are receiving are absolutely terrifying. In these conditions all it takes is one wave.

“A dramatic photograph or selfie is not worth risking your life for and those who are going to the coast to take pictures are also putting our teams at risk.

“We are urging people in the strongest possible terms to stay away from the coast.”

 If you do get into trouble or believe anybody to be in difficulty at the coast or at sea, please call 999 and ask for the Coastguard.

Roads and transport

The following roads will be closed on Friday 18 Feb from 9.30am until at least 4pm. Access will remain for residents and businesses. 

  • New Brighton: whole of front from Harrison Drive to Rowson Street
  • West Kirby: Dee Lane/South Parade

In addition, the Fort Perch Rock car park will be closed from 9.30am until at least 4pm.

If you need to make an essential journey during the storm please plan ahead and drive carefully. Remember to give vulnerable road users including cyclists, motorcyclists and pedestrians more room than usual. They are more likely to be blown around by side winds – always keep a safe distance.

People are generally advised to only travel if absolutely essential. The weather could cause significant issues on public roads and changes to bus, rail and sea transport schedules.

Those using public transport are advised to check for any disruption before they travel. Disruption is expected to Mersey Ferries today. National and regional Train services may be affected.

Listen to media broadcasts especially local radio for up-to-date weather reports and road closure information. For local public transport information visit Travel Updates in the Liverpool City Region | Merseytravel 

https://twitter.com/MerseyPolice/status/1494633868628013062

If your driving test is cancelled due to bad weather

Your driving test can be cancelled or stopped because of bad weather, problems with your car, or for other reasons.

Driving tests are not carried out in dangerous weather conditions, such as when the roads are icy or if there’s flooding, thick fog or high winds.

Call your test centre if there are any of these conditions on the day of your test.

The phone number for the test centre is on your booking confirmation email.

If your test cannot go ahead:

The Driver and Vehicle Standards Agency (DVSA) will:

  • automatically book the next available date for your test
  • send you the details within 3 working days – it can take up to 7 days if there’s a long period of bad weather

You can change the date  you’re given if it’s not suitable.

Trees

With strong winds forecast, there is likely to be a high number of trees damaged. We are urging people to steer clear of woodlands and wooded areas in parks. If you see a tree along the highway that is damaged and at risk of falling, please call StreetScene on 0151 606 2004 (9am-5pm, Mon-Fri) or 0151 647 7810 (out of hours). If you believe there is an immediate threat or danger, please call 999. If you experience a power cut, call 105 to report this to your provider. 

Bins

Bin collections may be affected today (18 Feb). Due to high winds expected throughout the night, please only place your bin out as close to 7am as possible. Once it is emptied, bring it back to your property as soon as you can to prevent it becoming a hazard. Crews may be called back in if the weather becomes too bad – if your whole road is missed then crews will aim to come back the following day. If just your bin is missed and the rest of the road has been emptied, please report this via the council website

Sports & Leisure

Any bookings for outdoor activities at Wirral leisure centres have been cancelled today (Feb 18). Municipal golf courses are also closed today.

All football fixtures on Wirral Council grass pitches are cancelled this weekend due to the heavy rain and the forecast over the weekend. Those using 3G facilities need to check to see if they are still going to be in use.

Guinea Gap leisure pool is closed due to roof damage and will remain closed until further notice.  All lessons are currently being transferred to the training pool.

The rest of the leisure centre (including the training pool and gym) remain open. Half Term Holiday Swimming Pool timetables are available to view including pool timetables for Leasowe, Oval and West Kirby Concourse on Wirral Leisure website

Birkenhead parkrun has been cancelled.

Animals/pets

The RSPCA has issued advice here

Cemeteries

For the safety of the staff and visitors, the Cemetery Office at Landican cemetery is closed this afternoon. All funeral directors have been informed and if they or their families have any concerns with proceeding with their funerals during the storm, they can be postponed and we will work with them to rearrange on another date. The cemetery office is not contactable by telephone and the Book of remembrance is also unavailable this afternoon.

Key contacts

  • Emergency – immediate risk to life = 999
  • Police non-emergency = 101
  • Streetscene (report issues on the public highway) = 0151 606 2004 (9am-5pm, Mon-Fri) or 0151 647 7810 (out of hours)
  • Utilities – to report power outages = 105

Residents are advised that the council’s social media channels are not the place to report a problem. Most issues can reported via the council website

Image: Dziana Hasanbekava

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