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117mph winds batter county

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Torn off: Roof which blew off a house in Robert Street, Milford Haven, Wednesday.

Torn off: Roof which blew off a house in Robert Street, Milford Haven, Wednesday.

WIND SPEEDS of almost 94mph were recorded on the Cleddau Bridge, as Pembrokeshire County Council advised people to stay indoors and avoid travel unless absolutely necessary.As the storm bore down on the Pembrokeshire coast, there was chaos across the County as schools were forced to shut, roads blocked and buildings damaged by the force of the weather.

So severe were the winds that Council workmen were unable to remove some of the fallen trees, due to the hazardous conditions.

The Council were forced to close Narberth Castle following damage caused by the weather, while part of a flat roof at Sir Thomas Picton School was ripped off by the Force Twelve winds.

One motorist, crossing the bridge at Carew over an hour and a half before high tide, was shocked by a wave that burst over the top of the structure and struck his vehicle as he crossed.

Martin Jones of Haverfordwest said: “I got through the traffic control and started over the bridge when the water hit the stonework and flew over. I’m glad I was driving a larger car. A smaller one would have been damaged and I might have floated away!”

In Milford Haven, both Robert Street and Charles Street were closed to vehicles following storm damage to properties’ roofs that left debris on the roads.

All rail services travelling west of Llanelli were halted at 2pm on Wednesday afternoon and suspended until 10pm. Services to Pembroke Dock, Milford Haven and Fishguard Harbour were all affected by the closure.

The A487 road at Newgale was closed as seas became mountainous and threatened the fragile sea defences, which have been breached twice in the past month alone.

The County Council’s website was updated throughout the day with news of hazards to traffic, pedestrians and buildings.

Wrecked: BMW ruined by falling slates in Pembroke. (Drew Buckley Photography)

Wrecked: BMW ruined by falling slates in Pembroke. (Drew Buckley Photography)

Council Employees Thanked

Pembrokeshire County Council staff worked hard overnight clearing away fallen trees, debris and roof tiles, in a bid to get traffic moving around the county again today. Highways and area maintenance teams worked until 23:00, starting again at 05:30 this morning, dealing with more than 150 reports of trees, large branches and debris.

The County Council’s contact centre usually receives around 1,100 phone calls on a normal Wednesday. Yesterday it received 3,184 calls – more than 2,000 extra.

There were 150 reports of damage to property, council infrastructure schools, utilities infrastructure and street lights.

At 15:00 there were 26 road closures in place. Council crews also helped deal with eight flooding incidents and two oil spills. A total of 25 schools closed early due to the severe weather. A further nine schools are closed today.

On Tuesday and Wednesday alone, the Council’s Facebook page had more than a thousand new likes, and the Twitter account gained another thousand followers. Comments on Twitter included: ‘Thank you for the constant updates, a job well done’ and ‘fab updates all day, really appreciated’. “Staff across the Council rose to the challenge of the extreme weather yesterday and worked exceptionally hard to try and keep people safe and get the county moving again. I’m sure the people in the county would join me in thanking them for their valued efforts,” said the Leader of the County Council, Councillor Jamie Adams.

“All in all, it was a very busy day for the employees of Pembrokeshire County Council.”

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Welsh Deputy Minister visits New Farm Shop

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Pictured : Julie Morgan AM

A new farm and produce shop on the Scolton Manor estate outside Haverfordwest has been visited by a Welsh Government Minister.

Julie Morgan AM – Deputy Minister for Health and Social Care – called at the shop to see the Welsh Government’s Intermediate Care Fund (ICF) in action.

The shop provides work experience, training and supported employment opportunities in retail and customer service for people with learning disabilities, disabilities and autism.

It is an addition to Pembrokeshire County Council’s existing supported employment offer through Norman Industries, the Authority’s sheltered employment factory in Snowdrop Lane, Haverfordwest.

The shop is the result of partnership working involving Workways+ and Experience for Industry – both funded by the European Social Fund through Welsh Government – Norman Industries and the management and staff at the Council-run Scolton Manor attraction.

The shop, which opened just a few weeks ago, will be supplying the public with fresh produce from the walled gardens at Scolton Manor, local meats, produce, tea and coffee.

It also provides a retail outlet for some of the arts, crafts and products made at Norman Industries.

Over the coming months the shop will also be supplying chutneys made by participants and employees at the supported employment café in Milford leisure centre ‘Caffi Man Cwrdd’.

The Deputy Minister was welcomed by County Councillor Tessa Hodgson, the Authority’s Cabinet Member for Social Services.

The farm shop has been partially resourced and staffed through some of the £400,000 ICF money allocated to expand supported employment opportunities regionally.

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Haverfordwest: Police promise extra patrols for GCSE results night

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THERE will be an increased police presence in Haverfordwest tonight, in response to an anticipated influx of young people who will be celebrating their GCSE results.

Parents are being asked to go over their child’s plan for the evening, before they head out. Sergeant Haydon Mathias is overseeing the operation.

He said: “It’s a big day for teenagers, and we understand they want to celebrate after all of their hard work.

“We’ll be there to make sure they do that safely, and without disrupting others.

“This is usually a busy night for us, and historically we have seen crime and anti-social behaviour rise. You’ll notice my team out and about from early this evening to stop that happening. They’ll be seizing alcohol from anyone they suspect is under the age of 18, and dealing with any other issues that arise.

“We’re asking parents to take the reins and discuss plans before your child goes out. Make sure you know where they’re celebrating, who they’re with, and how they’re getting home. It’s useful to make sure your child’s phone is fully charged, in case of an emergency.

“I encourage anyone with concerns to come and speak to an officer or Police Community Support Officer around the town, or contact Dyfed-Powys Police.”

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Llangwm Church Donation Box Stolen

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St Jerome’s Church: Second theft in a year!

 

A DONATION box has been stolen from a village church, the second theft from the historic building in a year.

The donation box at St Jerome’s Church, Llangwm, is believed to have been taken in the last few weeks.

The box is usually kept next to the Talking Tapestry of Langum, a project which tells the story of the village’s origin with the invasion of the Flemish in the 12th century and its later history.

Pamela Hunt of Heritage Llangwm said: “This theft is the second from St. Jerome’s in a year.

“If anyone has seen or knows anything, then please let the police know.

“If they feel unable to do that, but would like to contact us at St Jerome’s Church, then email info@heritagellangwm.org.uk

“We will treat your contact in the strictest confidence.”

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