A major clear-up operation has begun to get resorts ready for Easter after the ‘Beast from the East’ dumped tons of sand along the coast.
Waves were over-topping along promenades from Skegness to north of Chapel St Leonards, but it was the gale force easterly winds that shifted sand off the beach leaving it piled up in front of entrances to businesses and across walkways and roads.
Plans for the clear-up began in Chapel St Leonards at the weekend.
Christine Newton, clerk to Chapel St Leonards Parish Council, said|: “High winds off the sea during the Beast from the East storms of last week relocated parts of the foreshore sand onto the promenade and pullover.
“As soon as it was safe to do so, Parish Councillors were out assessing effects and co-ordinating the big clear up.”
Parish Council chairman Mel Turton-Leivers along with vice -chairman Coun Paul Hibbert-Greaves and Coun Pete Keeffe were first on the scene.
Coun Hibbert-Greaves, who is also one of Chapel’s district councillors, is liaising with East Lindsey District Council Leader Coun Craig Leyland and the Environment Agency to set in train a multi-agency approach to shifting the sand as soon as possible.
In the meantime, Chapel Parish Council’s own small sand machine will be put to good use clearing pathways for access pending the big clean up.
Coun Turton-Leivers said: “Pedestrians should take extra care in the affected areas and Mobility scooter users should avoid using the promenade by the pullover until you can see that a wide-enough pathway has been cleared for you to get through safely.”
The storms also hit local traders who have been looking forward to caravan sites opening at the beginning of March.
Bibby’s Beach bar brought in a “huge team” to retrieve its outside stage which got washed away during Friday night’s high tide.
Fortunately, it was still in one piece and on the beach on Monday and the bar is hoping to open at the weekend.
Many of the area’s holiday home sites have had to delay their opening.
Skegness Water Leisure Park was due to open on Thursday, as it does every year on March 1. John Chappell, Ellis Bros’ group manager, said: “We had to postpone until Monday. Even if people could get into Skegness, which would have been difficult as we were effectively cut off for nearly three days, we had snow drifts on some of the park roads. With the Arctic temperatures, the water feeds to most caravans would have frozen if we’d turned them on, so people wouldn’t have been able to use their toilets, boil a kettle or run their central heating systems.
“Therefore, we reluctantly took the decision to delay opening.
“Many of the other sites in the area followed suit.”
Angie Robinson, a director from East Coast Caravans who own Belvedere luxury holiday site near Croft, said: “We have had to delay the opening until March 10 because the freezing conditions brought a number of difficult issues.
“Apart from the danger of travelling, many of the sites facilities were compromised. The main issue for us and indeed many sites was frozen water pipes meaning no water supply to the caravans, so owners wouldn’t be able to use toilets, boil kettles etc.
“However, now the conditions have improved we pleased with the way the site has recovered ready for our opening this weekend.”