Staff at West Kirby cafe saved by RNLI after torrential rain and strong winds cause flooding

Tim Scott reports from the seafront at West Kirby

Staff at a seaside cafe had to be rescued by the RNLI after strong winds and heavy rain lead to flooding - despite millions of pounds spent on defences.

Four workers at Tanskeys Bistro, West Kirby, Wirral, were left stranded when water submerged the South Parade on Tuesday, 9 April.

Footage shows parked cars submerged in sea water after heavy rain and strong winds battered the North West coastline.

Mobile phone footage filmed by bistro staff showed the parade and road completely covered in water.

Pictures also showed cars being moved by the waves.

Hannah Cleator owns Tanskeys Bistro in West Kirby which was left underwater after torrential rain and strong winds.

The flooding comes two years after the installation of a £19.7 million flood wall, completed in September 2023, to protect seafront properties from "catastrophic flooding."

Hannah Cleator, the owner of Tanskeys Bistro, said: "We were hopeful that the wall would be the answer, but sadly the water battered over it - and everything got flooded.

"I think it's [flood wall] failed - the general consensus is 'why spend £20 million on a four-foot wall when nature is going to do what it's going to do'.

"Sadly, what the wall has done today that we weren't expecting is hold the water in on the wrong side. So the water has come in and can't get back out."

It comes two years after the installation of a multi-million pounds flood wall. Credit: ITV News

Chris Riley, vice president of West Kirby Sailing Club, said: "I've lived here the best part of 40 years and in that time this is the fourth time I've seen it this deep on the promenade and in the boat yard.

"The wind's been very strong and the tide is the highest tides of the year. It's piled over the wall and come over the sea defences. It's disappointing to see them damaged in this way."

The sailing club has been working hard to secure the boats to minimise damage.

Chris continued to say: "A lot of the boats are on chocks and, given the volume of water, the only place it can go is into the yard. It has raised the water here by a foot and a half.

"I know boats are meant to float but once they start floating around the boat yard, it causes lots of problems."

Chris Riley, a resident of West Kirby, say the flood wall is "disappointing".

A spokesperson for Wirral Council said: "The storm today has seen extremely high winds combined with higher than usual tides to cause water to come over flood wall at West Kirby.

"The flood wall in West Kirby was designed to act as a defence system to take power out of the tidal waves, to prevent higher levels of flooding and minimise potential damage in the area.

"As with all significant flooding incidents we will assess the flood defences in conjunction with the Environment Agency.

"While the weather conditions remain stormy it is advised to avoid the coastal areas."

The Met Office issued a yellow weather warning which has been in place from 1am, Tuesday, 9 April until 3pm.

According to forecasters, the strong winds may bring "hazardous" coastal conditions and could cause some travel disruption.

The weather service added that coastal routes, seafronts and coastal communities will be affected by spray and/or large waves.

It said delays to road, rail air and ferry and transport were likely. Short term loss of power and other services is also expected.

Keep up to date with the latest weather forecast for the North West here:

Flood warnings

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