Island begins to get back to normal after storm surge (now with video from Ramsey)

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Updated story: The waters that flooded many of the island’s ports has begun to recede.

Ramsey and Castletown were particularly badly hit during the storm surge, which was said to be a one-in-50-years event.

For some time power was cut to homes in both towns. The Manx Electricity Authority had warned customers this was a possibility.

Parliament Street in Ramsey was like Venice.

Many townsfolk just looked on as sandbags proved to be little use.

The Chief Minister, Allan Bell, who’s one of the town’s MHKs, went along to the scene as well.

Parliament Street in Ramsey

Parliament Street in Ramsey

Fire service crews from Douglas, Laxey, Castletown and Ramsey fire stations dealt with more than 20 calls of help from members of the public whose premises were affected by the high winds and tides.

The largest number of requests for assistance came in the Ramsey area were many businesses and domestic properties were flooded.

At 4pm, crews from both Ramsey and Castletown were still dealing with reports of flooding at commercial properties, offering a pumping out service to enable them to re open as soon as possible.

Many roads near the coast were shut during the day.

The clean-up operation is under way in many areas across the island affected by today’s flooding.

Road sweepers will be clearing away debris to assist traffic management plans from the police and Department of Infrastructure.

While waves crashed over the promenades in Douglas, the North Quay was also hit.

See our video of the North Quay here.

Tesco in Douglas closed on the advice of the police to avoid vehicles in the car park being damaged.

Nevertheless, many vehicles were left in vulnerable places. The owners might return to find their vehicle damaged or regret the effects of the seawater in the months to come.

The damage caused is expected to reach millions of pounds in cost.

The next high tide, at about 1am tomorrow (Saturday), is not expected to lead to the same flooding problems that we have experienced today.

The forecast is for more stormy weather on Sunday.

Strong winds, spells of heavy rain and a risk of localised flooding is likely in some areas of the island.

The Department of Infrastructure issued the following advice about clearing up after the storm:

Take care. There may be dangers in the water such as sharp objects and raised manhole covers. Flood water may have caused minor structural damage to buildings.

Flood water can contain sewage, chemicals and animal waste. Always wear waterproof outerwear, including gloves, wellington boots and a face mask.

If your electricity supply is not already switched off at the mains, get a qualified person to do this. DO NOT touch sources of electricity when standing in flood water.

If you have gas or oil central heating and it has been checked by an engineer, turn it on. Keep the thermostat between 20-22 degrees Celsius for steady drying.

You can get water out of your property using a pump and generator. Position the generator outside in the open air as generators produce carbon monoxide fumes which can kill.

The DoI may be able to help with pumps – Tel 850000.

Only pump out water when flood levels outside your property start to be lower than inside. This reduces the risk of structural damage.

Shovel mud away evenly from both sides of a wall. This stops pressure building up on one side.

You can clean and disinfect your property using ordinary household products.

A garden hose is useful for washing down. Do not use high-pressure hoses as they blast contaminated matter into the air.

If you are drying your property naturally, keep doors and windows open as much as possible to create a flow of air through the building and if possible add heat to the flow of air or if using dehumidifiers, close external doors and windows.

The public warning sirens will be sounded across the Isle of Man at 11am tomorrow. This is a routine quarterly test and nothing to do with the storms.

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