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Live weather updates across Pembrokeshire

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WINDS of up to 80mph are expected to batter Pembrokeshire and cause ‘significant impact’ as Storm Ophelia hits later today (Oct 16).

7pm – Cleddau Bridge open to cars

It is still closed to high-sided vehicles.

6:01pm – Lock gate floating in Milford Haven Port

“As a result of the severe weather today – with winds gusting up to 87mph at the entrance to the Port – we have suffered some infrastructure damage to one of the lock gates in Milford Marina. One of the mitre gates, which are the first gates you come to when entering the lock at Milford Marina, has broken off its hinges and is currently floating in the lock. As soon as the weather improves we will be making efforts to secure it.”

5:31pm – Warning to stay away from Newgale

Authorities have asked that people do not attempt to walk or drive through Newgale.

5:22pm – Reports of heavy traffic at Carew

Expect long delays as traffic is diverted from the Cleddau Bridge.

5:01pm – Trees down and power cuts across county

Tree down in road near Picton Castle towards Millin
Tree down llanycefn between Nant y Cwn School & Five ways junction
Tree down in road between Hasguard Cross and Talbenny near Greenacres
Trees down on road through Stackpole Woods
Western Power showing 9 power ‘incidents’ in Pembs & 341 properties affected

4:40pm – Newgale closed

A487 expected to be closed at Newgale for some time due to water and shingle on the road. High tide not due for another 30 minutes.

The trees that were down on the A487 between Mathry and Square and Compass and another near Castlemorris Feeds between Letterston and Castlemorris have been cleared so the Newgale diversion route is currently clear.

Western Power showing five power ‘incidents’ in Pembrokeshire and 371 properties affected.

Trees down in the following locations:

• Stokes Avenue, Haverfordwest
• Rhoose Ferry Road, Burton
• tree partially blocking road at Castle Lane, Carew.

3:40pm – Reports of tiles flying off roofs

Reported cases in Pembroke, Pembroke Dock, Tenby and Neyland.

3:10pm – Update from Pembrokeshire County Council

Cleddau Bridge now closed to all traffic. Road crews at Carew Bridge to assist diverted traffic.

Western Power showing 4 power ‘incidents’ in Pembs with a total of 600 properties affected.

Power line blocking road between Sardis and Hill Mountain. Road closure requested by police. Western power en route

Tree down (not on road) at Honeyborough Green, Neyland
Tree down blocking pathway at the Millpond, Pembroke
Tree down blocking road outside Herbranston Haall, Herbranston
Tree down on road between Strumble Head and Goodwick, exact location unconfirmed
Tree partially blocking road between Crundale & Clarbeston road
Tree blocking road at Milletts Hill, Cosheston
Tree blocking road Spittal Tunnel towards Spittal
Tree blocking road in Rectory Road, Llangwm
Tree down blocking both lanes of the A487 St Davids – Fishguard road between Mathry and square & Compass
Tree down blocking minor road near junction with B4313 at Brynconin, Llandissilio
Tree down Scarrowscant Lane, Haverfordwest (not on road)
Tree down B4374 between Princess Gate and Tavernspite

Large section of roof from a 3 storey building at Ocean drive, Pennar

Tiles being blown off buildings in Nelson Street, Pennar, also Stranraer Road and Gays Lane Pennar

All Day Centres and Social Activity Centres closed.

All schools in Pembrokeshire closed.

The high tide this afternoon is approx. 16:50. Flood warnings are in place for the Pembrokeshire Coast.

Flood gates at Little Haven have been closed.
Crews will be monitoring Newgale where there is concern about water penetrating the shingle bank and possibly throwing pebbles onto the road.

Other beaches also being monitored.

Reports of numerous Portugese Men of War washed up on beaches in the South of the County – public advised not to touch.

2:30pm – Cleddau Bridge closed to ALL vehicles

Avoid area if possible.

2:22pm – Update from Pembrokeshire County Council

Approx 200 properties without power in the Eglwyswrw area, including the school which has had to close.

Tree partially blocking road between Crundale & Clarbeston road
Tree blocking road at Milletts Hill, Cosheston
Tree blocking road Spittal Tunnel towards Spittal
Tree down blocking both lanes of the A487 St Davids – Fishguard road between Mathry and square & Compass
One tree down blocking minor road near junction with B4313 at Brynconin, Llandissilio
Tree down Scarrowscant Lane, Haverfordwest (not on road)
Tree down B4374 between Princess Gate and Tavernspite
Tiles being blown off buildings in Nelson Street, Pennar

All Day Centres and Social Activity Centres closed.

All schools in Pembrokeshire closed.

Cleddau Bridge now closed to high sided vehicles. Wind direction still from SSW & not likely to cause a full closure until it shifts more to the W. Road crews will be based at Carew Bridge to assist diverted traffic.

The high tide this afternoon is approx. 16:50. Flood warnings are in place for the Pembrokeshire Coast.

Flood gates at Little Haven have been closed.

Crews will be monitoring Newgale where there is concern about water penetrating the shingle bank and possibly throwing pebbles onto the road.

Other beaches also being monitored.

2:04pm – Pembrokeshire College closing early

Will re-open tomorrow as normal.

1:48pm – Trees down around county

Tree down Scarrowscant Lane, Haverfordwest (not on road)
Tree down partially blocking Hakin Bridge, Milford Haven
Tree down B4374 between Princess Gate and Tavernspite
Tree down Bower Hill between Hundleton and Monkton

1:40pm – Carew Castle closed

Scheduled to re-open tomorrow.

1:29pm – ALL Pembrokeshire schools now closing, Council say

“ALL Pembrokeshire Schools are now closing!

“School transport has been arranged for those pupils that require it.

“Please arrange to collect your child as soon as possible. Please note all children will be supervised until they are collected.”

1:07pm – More school closures
Ysgol Llanychllwydog – Gwaun Valley – closing at 1.30pm
Ysgol Hafan y Môr – closing at 2pm.

1:05pm – Milford Haven Town Council meeting cancelled

The meeting will now take place on a new date.

1pm – Tree down on Tavernspite road near Princes Gate

12:40pm – Cleddau Bridge advice from Pembrokeshire County Council

“To plan any journeys for the remainder of the day, the anticipated status of the bridge – given current information – is as follows:

  • bridge closed to high sided and potentially all vehicles from 1230 pm onwards today (Monday, 16th October). This is highly dependent upon wind direction as well as wind speed An unusual situation could occur of the bridge being closed to all traffic without any intermediate closure to high sided vehicles.
  • any closure is expected to last until around 5 pm when the bridge may open again to cars only. Full opening of the bridge to all traffic is not expected until around 9 pm.
  • given that the disruption is likely to extend into the peak commuter time this evening, we advise road users to monitor the situation carefully and adjust travel plans accordingly.
  • the above information is based on current information and experience, provided to give maximum notice of possible disruption. However, the bridge status can change at any time, and no guarantees can be given.”

12:31pm – Overall update from Pembrokeshire County Council

“The current situation is as follows:

  • Approximately 200 properties without power in the Eglwyswrw area, including the school which has had to close.
  • one tree blocking minor road near junction with B4313 at Brynconin, Llandissilio
  • bench on Castle Hill, Tenby, dislodged by wind
  • Cleddau Bridge now closed to high sided vehicles. Anticipated that a full closure will follow. Road crews will be based at Carew Bridge to assist diverted traffic.

“Road users, especially HGV drivers, are advised to access South Pembrokeshire via Begelly to alleviate pressure at Carew Bridge.

“The high tide this afternoon is around 1650 hours and members of the public are warned to stay away from the coastline.

“Flood warnings are in place for the Pembrokeshire coast and the flood gates at Little Haven have been closed.

“Pembrokeshire County Council crews will be monitoring Newgale where there is concern about water penetrating the shingle bank and possibly throwing pebbles onto the road.  Other beaches also being monitored.

“The following schools in Pembrokeshire are closing

Ysgol Preseli, Crymych
Milford Haven Comprehensive
Pembroke Comprehensive
Pupil Referral Units at Neyland and Penally
Portfield School, Haverfordwest
Greenhill Comprehensive, Tenby
Penrhyn (Stackpole)
Spittal Church in Wales
Sir Thomas Picton Comprehensive, Haverfordwest
Saundersfoot Primary
Milford Haven Junior
Meads Infant and Nursery, Milford Haven
Neyland Community
Tavernspite Primary
Eglwyswrw Primary
Templeton Primary
Ysgol y Frenni, Crymych
Ysgol Clydau, Tegryn
Ysgol Bro Gwaun
Tasker-Milward Comprehensive, Haverfordwest
Hook Primary
Ysgol Gymunedol, Maenclochog
Ysgol Gymunedol, Brynconin
Ysgol Dewi Sant

“Other schools currently reviewing transport arrangements, especially for exposed areas.”

12:20pm – Castle School to close

“As the weather is continuing to worsen we have made the decision to close the school this afternoon. The buses will leave at 1.30pm but you are welcome to pick up your child before if you wish.

“Staff will remain at school with pupils who cannot be collected until later. If you cannot arrive until later or you do not want your child to go on the bus please let us know by phoning reception.

“Apologies for the inconvenience but we have had to follow advice.”

12:08pm – More school closures
Saundersfoot Community Primary School – closing at 12.30pm
Sir Thomas Picton School, Haverfordwest – closing at 12.30pm
Spittal Church in Wales VC School – closing at 12.30pm.

12:06pm – Tavernspite Community School closing

“Tavernspite Community Primary School.

“Parents are asked to collect pupils as soon as possible.”

12:05pm – Power cut at Ysgol Gynradd Gymunedol Eglwyswrw

“Ysgol Gynradd Gymunedol Eglwyswrw -Temporary Power Outage.

“School transport has been called for those who use it. parents of other pupils are asked to collect them asap”

12:05pm – Templteton School closure

“Templeton Community Primary School.

“Parents are asked to collect pupils as soon as possible.”

11:50am – More schools to close early
Ysgol y Preseli – closing at 12pm
Ysgol Gymunedol Brynconin – Llandissilio – closing at 12pm
Ysgol Gymunedol Maenclochog – closing at 12pm
Hook Community Primary School – closing at 12pm
Stackpole Church in Wales VC School – closing at 12.30pm
Tasker Milward VC School – closing at 12.30pm
Ysgol Bro Gwaun, Fishguard – closing at 1pm
Ysgol Clydau, Tegryn – Closing at 12.30pm
Ysgol y Frenni, Crymych – closing at 12.30pm
The Meads Infant and Nursery School – Milford Haven – closing from 12.30pm

11:45am – Cleddau Bridge closed to high sided vehicles

10:26am – Golden Grove School remains open

“Just to keep you aware – Golden Grove School is remaining open today, despite the closure of Pembroke School. We will, however, be monitoring the situation closely and keep you updated.”

10:23am – Pembroke School closes early

“Due to the worsening weather conditions, Pembroke School will close for pupils from 11am this morning.

“Pupils will be permitted to leave from 11am. Hot food will be available if required from 11.00-11.30. School buses will arrive at 11.30am.

“It would be appreciated if parents do not arrive to collect pupils until 11am, at the end of period 2.

“School is expected to operate as a normal school day tomorrow”

10:12am – Milford Haven School closes early

“Dear Parent/Carer. Due to the Amber weather warning the school has made the decision to close at 11.45 today on the grounds of health and safety. School Transport will be available at 11.45 for pupils and parents are requested to collect pupils from the Main reception for pupils who would normally walk home. If it is not possible to collect your child please contact the school to give your permission for them to walk home. Thank you for your support.”

9:41am – Cleddau Bridge closures likely, council say

“Pembrokeshire is forecast to be hit by strong winds later today. It is anticipated that the bridge will be closed during this event, although it is impossible to give any guarantees.

“In order for you to plan any journeys for the remainder of the day our anticipated status of the bridge, given current information is as follows:

“Bridge closed to high sided and potentially all vehicles from 12:30pm onwards. This is highly dependent upon wind direction as well as wind speed, and we may experience the unusual situation of the bridge being closed to all traffic without any intermediate closure to high sided vehicles.

“Any closure is expected to last until around 17:00pm when the bridge may open again to cars only. Full opening of the bridge to all traffic is not expected until around 21:00pm.

“Given that the disruption is likely to extend into the peak commuter time this evening, you are advised to monitor the situation carefully, and adjust your travel plans accordingly.”

The Met Office has warned that there could be a danger to life due to flying debris in the high wind.

There could also be disruption to travel as roads could be flooded and fallen trees could cause obstruction.

The Cleddau Bridge may also close high-sided or all vehicles.

Those living by the coast have been told to stay away from the water to avoid risk of being blown or swept into the sea.

1,200 soldiers are on standby across the UK to respond to any significant incidents caused by the storm.

On Friday (Oct 12), the Port of Milford Haven issued a warning saying: “Please be advised that hurricane strength winds are forecast for Monday evening. All mooring holders are asked to make every effort to remove their vessels from moorings or alternatively ensure they are securely fastened to moorings on the waterway to minimise potential damage.”

 

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One thousand march to save Withybush Hospital A&E services

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Over 1,000 people marched in Haverfordwest today (June 16) to show their support for the A&E department at Withybush General Hospital.

The protesters marched from Haverfordwest football club, leaving  at 11.30am and made their way via Bridge Street to Castle Square, and then around to the Riverside Shopping Centre, and back to the field behind the football club where a family fun day had been organised.

There were rumours that there would be inclement weather for the protest, but just on cue, the sun came out as the first walkers left the field for what many were describing as a “now or never” attempt to retain services at Withybush.

Conservative politicians joined the march including local MP’s Simon Hart and Stephen Crabb as well as Paul Davies AM. County Councillors and representatives from the Labour party were also at the protest, amongst others.

Stephen Crabb MP told The Herald that all of the University Health Board’s proposals for Withybush Hospital included a “downgrade”, and that this was not acceptable for the people of Pembrokeshire. In a passionate interview with Herald TV he said that today was the day that “local people fight for the services that they deserve.”

Mr Crabb said that he knew that recruitment of staff was a “challenge across the whole of the UK” but the Health Board need to be told they need to do more for Pembrokeshire.

Just before the protest, the admin of the Save Withybush Group on Facebok posted: “Over 22,000 have joined this group and almost 23,000 have signed the petition so we know there is massive support among the people of Pembrokeshire to save our hospital. Now we just need everyone to turn out this Saturday and show Hywel Dda Health Board that we mean business and that they will not get away with closing our A&E or any of the vital services at Withybush.”

Drivers of vehicles honked their horns as they drove past the protest which was led by musicians from the Saint City Jazz Band from St Davids.

Many people told Herald reporters that they felt that the hospital had been “deliberately undermined” ans that uncertainty created by the Health Board themselves in relation to hospital services was having a negative effect on the recruitment of staff.

This large march and fun day is described by organisers as the first stage in a summer of action to fight for services at Withybush Hospital.

Those who have not already done so are urged to fill in the consultation document published by Hywel Dda University Health Board.

  • Photography by Mike Hillen and Aad Oostermeijer.
  • Additional reporting by Matthew Roberts

 

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Pembroke Dock: Dog in black bag found dead in water

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A SHOCKING image of a dead dog which was found in the water at Pembroke Port, wrapped in a black bag, has been sent to The Herald.

The image was sent to us by a local man who pulled the bag out of the water.

Once on the dry land, he realised that tragically the remains of a dog was inside.

The shocking uncensored image is below.

WARNING: Upsetting imagery follows.

A witness at the scene told the Herald that police were called to the scene following the discovery.

The man who made the discovery told us: “The bag was down floating by the tugs, Pembroke Port, it looked like a tent bag at first.

“We pulled it up and took it on the walkway to cut it open – we didn’t know what it was.

“Once it was opened, we could see there were stones inside, and then as we opened it more it was obvious the dog was inside.

“To be honest, it looked like it had been in there a while.”

The man then told us that as he left the scene, a member of the tugboats called the police.

“It’s not nice, horrible to see, not nice at all. It didn’t look like a young dog but you don’t have any idea really with it in that state,” he added.

The Herald has contacted Dyfed-Powys Police for more information.

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Judge halves jail term for man convicted of fraud

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A FIRST CLASS honours graduate who targeted stores in Haverfordwest for fraud will soon be free after senior judges halved his jail term.

Siphosenkosi Hutton Maplanka was jailed for 12 months at Swansea Crown Court on March 22.

The 31-year-old, of Ger Yr Ysgol, Burry Port, near Llanelli, admitted three counts of fraud.

Maplanka targeted Debenhams and Tesco branches on July 12 last year, Judge David Stockdale QC told London’s Appeal Court today.

His mode of operation was to take clothing from displays and put it in a bag and then seek to exchange it.

He would claim to have bought the items previously from another store in the same group.

Using this method, he got Debenhams to refund him £260 and Tesco to shell out £140.

He came unstuck when he returned to Debenhams on July 23 last year and tried to repeat the scam but was recognised by staff.

Maplanka had been before the courts on 13 previous occasions for 22 offences, including 10 frauds, said the judge.

His barrister, John Tarrant, argued that his jail term was far too harsh and should be reduced.

Maplanka’s crimes were not sophisticated, nor the result of significant planning, claimed the barrister.

While he had ‘similar’ previous convictions, they dated back several years – and he had won a first class honours degree since then.

Judge Stockdale, sitting with two other judges, said Maplanka’s crimes were ‘not in our judgment sophisticated’.

The frauds ‘did not require significant planning’ and the loss to the stores was ‘modest’.

Maplanka’s previous convictions were ‘a significant and potent aggravating factor’, said the judge.

But he added: “In view of the absence of offences in the last five years and, allowing for all we have heard and read in mitigation, we do consider the sentence is manifestly excessive.”

Judge Stockdale reduced Maplanka’s jail term from 12 months to six months.

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