NOW WITH VIDEO Once-in-50-years storm surge; Flooding alert; Raw sewage warning; Road closures

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The island was hit by severe tidal flooding today in a once-in-50-years event.

At around midday, low-lying areas around all of the island’s ports were affected, the Department of Infrastructure said.



The video accompanying this story was recorded from about 12.15pm till 12.45pm.

Before high tide, the Manx Electricity Authority warned that at-risk areas might lose their power and parts of Ramsey lost electricity.

The police station in Lord Street, Douglas, closed its counter and Douglas’s Tesco shop closed from 11.30am till about 3pm after a request from the police.

Motorists whose cars are parked in vulnerable areas were warned to move them.

Many coastal roads and promenades were be closed because of the very rough seas.

The high tide combined with a storm surge to bring flooding in excess of that seen in 2002. Water levels were up to 800 millimetres (31 inches) above the point where the harbour areas start to flood.

Maps indicating the likely affected areas can be seen on the government’s website here.

The areas in blue show where the calm flood waters are anticipated to reach.

The effect of this was worse as a result of wave action.

Property owners in these areas were urgently asked to take steps to protect their own property and move vehicles out of the low-lying areas.

In 2002 an estimated £8m-worth of damage was caused.

Before the storm surge, a Department of Infrastructure spokesman said: ‘We will not be able to stop the flooding from this one-in-50-year event.

‘Public safety is a primary concern and the pubic are asked to stay out of flood waters.

‘Raw human sewerage is very likely to be discharged from manholes in the affected areas polluting the waters.

‘There will also be unseen dangers in flooded areas from open manhole covers.

‘The rough seas will bring additional risks with waves of 4.5 metres expected during the storm. This might cause structural damage to harbours and coastal areas.’

The spokesman said that the police, the fire service, Civil Defence, the Water and Sewerage Authority and the Department of Infrastructure were working closely together to try to mitigate the damage and risks.

The emergency services will respond to any incident where people are in danger and can be contacted on 999.

For general help and support with flooding problems or storm damage, where people are not at risk, the public should call the Department of Infrastructure’s Ellerslie base on 850000.

The Department of Infrastructure called in around 50 staff from leave to help manage the incident. Civil Defence also had around 40 volunteers available.

Although it is unlikely that it will be required, provisions are also in place should people be displaced from their homes.

As a precautionary measure the following roads were closed in anticipation of problems from around 11am:

Douglas Promenade, Broadway to Port Jack

Leigh Terrace, Douglas

Shore Road, Gansey

Castletown, Promenade

Ramsey, Promenade

Parliament Street, Ramsey

North Quay, Quine’s Corner to Parade Street

Laxey Promenade

This morning’s Steam Packet sailing was cancelled due to the stormy weather.

We are retweeting information as it comes in on our Twitter feed. Follow @iomnewspapers

Information will also be on our Live News service.

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