Flood defences activated in Weston-super-Mare to protect town during high tides
ACCESS to Weston-super-Mare seafront will be temporarily restricted this weekend due to high tides.
The town's sea defences will activated this weekend due to high tides and forecasts of strong onshore winds and a tidal surge.
Two hours before each high tide, the flood defence gates along the full length of the seafront will be closed, and re-opened again when it is deemed safe to do so.
The times of high tide coincide with festive events organised at businesses along the seafront.
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In order to avoid disruption, anyone attending events on the seaward side of the defences over the weekend is advised to arrive early before the gates are closed.
Because of the high numbers of people expected at events on the Grand Pier, the seafront flood gates will be closed last to enable guests to access the venue.
They may close as early as 6.45pm on Friday and 7.30pm on Saturday.
North Somerset Council spokesman, Steve Makin, said: "Council officers will be on site monitoring the situation closely, and will keep them open for as long as possible to minimise disruption without compromising anyone's safety.
"However, once the gates are closed, the promenade will not be accessible.
"The gates at the Grand Pier will be re-opened as soon as it is safe to do so after the high tide has passed and this is anticipated to be within 45 minutes and in plenty of time for anyone still arriving or leaving events at the end of the night."
The time that is most likely to be an issue for people visiting the pier is between 7pm and 8pm on Friday night, and 7.45pm and 8.45pm on Saturday night.
The high tide times are:
Fri 14 Dec 7.02am and 7.28pm
Sat 15 Dec 7.50am and 8.15pm
Sun 16 Dec 8.38am and 9.01pm
These arrangements will apply on Friday, Saturday and Sunday.
If in doubt, revellers should check with the venue they're attending for more information.
The council is also encouraging business and properties in the immediate vicinity of the seafront to keep an eye on weather conditions around high tides and take any steps they feel necessary to provide additional protection.