Last weekend we headed over to Portland and looked down from the heights at the waves crashing against Chesil Beach. This was a calm spell between the storms, but the sea was still a churning whiteness. At the height of the storms the waves have been overtopping the bank, the beach road flooded, the island cut off.
A huge quantity of shingle and pebbles on the seaward side of the bank has been scooped away and the army were moving in with their diggers, shoring up the defences and clearing the storm drains in readiness for the next onslaught. More gales are forecast, and these will coincide with a spring tide - never a good combination.
The waves have been massive, close to 8m in height, and this little graph shows so well the sort of battering out coastline is getting as a succession of storms sweep through. (You can check out the data near you here) http://www.channelcoast.org/data_management/real_time_data/charts/
As an island nation our coasts are always going to be vulnerable to the effects of the sea, more so as sea levels rise, and this has been illustrated all too well by recent events – the undermined railway at Dawlish, the flooded coastal towns. There is even talk of a managed retreat from some coastal areas in Wales.
Suddenly the world of Red Rock doesn’t feel so fictional after all.