Homeless given shelter during Storm Eunice

Torbay Council has brought in emergency measures as the resort prepares for gale force winds gusting up to 80mph in the resort.

Colleen Smith www.devonlive.com

The Met Office has issued an amber weather warning and Storm Eunice is forecast to hit the coastal resort from 3am tomorrow (February 18), with a rare Red weather warning issued for North Devon.

The council is closing some harbouside piers and docks and warning people to stay away from seafront areas where debris is likely to cause “significant injury”.

For the first time this winter, the council is activating its Severe Weather Emergency Protocol, guaranteeing overnight accommodation for the homeless for two nights from tonight (Thursday, February 17).

Members of the public who have concerns for people sleeping rough can report their location via Streetlink.

Cllr Steve Darling, leader of Torbay Council, said: “The welfare and safety of all residents is a priority of ours, particularly during periods of extreme weather.

“By activating our Severe Weather Emergency Protocol today, we are guaranteeing overnight accommodation for anyone who is street homeless.”

Cllr Darren Cowell, deputy leader of Torbay Council, added: “I’d like to strongly urge residents to stay away from coastal areas, particularly at times of high tide.

“Large waves are incredibly dangerous and bring with them a lot of debris.

“Our emergency services are likely to be dealing with a variety of emergencies so we need to do all we can to keep ourselves safe.”

A spokesman for the council said: “We’re advising people to take note of the warning, think before they travel and to stay away from coastal areas.

“Our Emergency Planning Team are liaising with council teams and emergency agencies to ensure arrangements are in place to be able to respond to damage and/or disruption caused by the strong winds.

“Gale force winds caused by Storm Eunice are expected to be their strongest in coastal areas between 3am and 9pm on Friday, with gusts of up to 80mph possible. Strong winds are also expected to continue over the weekend.

“Large waves are likely along the seafronts with residents urged not to head out and take photographs as beach debris is likely to be thrown which can cause significant injury.

“Tor Bay Harbour Authority have also made a number of preparations to ensure the safety of the public, this includes closing some piers and docks.

The Covid-19 vaccine clinic at St Boniface Church in Paignton on Friday 18 February has been cancelled but testing sites are due to operate as normal.