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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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Victim speaks out about the impact knifepoint robbery

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Teifion Lewis: Robbed the man at knifepoint

THE VICTIM of a knifepoint robbery has spoken out about the impact the incident has had on his life as Dyfed-Powys Police takes part in a national knife amnesty aiming to get weapons off the streets.

The 24-year-old was approached by a man he didn’t know while walking his dog in Carmarthen on July 20 this year. A knife was held to his chest, and he was forced to hand over the money in his wallet.

His attacker, Teifion Lewis, of Llammas Street, Carmarthen, was arrested and charged with robbery within four days, and was sentenced to 40 months in prison.

Looking back at the incident, the victim, who has asked to remain anonymous, said: “At first, I didn’t realise he had a knife on him. I just assumed he was another man who was out partying, given he was young and it was late on a Friday night.

“Even when he was right in front of me with his hand on my chest, I assumed he must have had too much to drink and just stumbled into me. Once I saw he was brandishing a knife, though, that changed everything. It was at that moment that I realised I was in far more danger than I’d first thought.

“I suppose the only real thing that was going through my mind at the time was to talk to him, do as he says, and get out of there as soon as possible without becoming hysterical. I just had to keep as calm as possible for the time he was blocking my route.”

He explained that it was only when Lewis had taken his money and walked away, that he realised what could have happened had things gone wrong.

“I thought about how easily he could have stabbed me and I’d have been left out in an empty street, cold and alone, bleeding to death, without even a mobile phone on me to call my friends and family to tell them I love them,” he said.

“I’ve never given much thought as to what my inevitable death will be like, but I’d never have thought it could have ended that way.”

The victim had walked his dog every night for two years – using this particular route for seven months – with no issue. Since being robbed, he has become wary of going out at night and hasn’t been able to walk down the lane where he was stopped without suffering flashbacks.

“It’s not necessarily the whole event that comes back to me, but different parts, such as when he started to sob to me about his home life, or when he apologised for ‘having to mug me’,” he said.

“By far, what’s stuck with me the most are the words said to me as I was being mugged. The words ‘I want your money, I don’t want your life’ have been repeating in my mind every day since then, without failure.”

On September 2, at Swansea Crown Court, Teifion Lewis was sentenced for robbery and possessing a knife in a public place. The victim read out a statement directly addressing Lewis, urging him to get his life back on track and forgiving him for what he did.

“You asked me that night to forget that the robbery had ever happened,” he read. “My assumption is because you were fearful as for what might subsequently happen to you. I’m afraid though, that the image of a knife being flicked towards my chest, and the phrase ‘I want your money, I don’t want your life’ is something I will never be able to erase from my mind, no matter how much I wish for it to go.

“I want you, however, to improve. I want you to use your punishment as your wake-up call, and as a doorway to improving both your future and the future of those who you are close to. There is help available for you, even in prison, and even when it seems all hope is lost. If I can get my life back on track after my autism diagnosis, so can you.

“You’re young, you’re able bodied, and you still have time. Use it wisely. I can’t forget what you did, but just this once I will forgive you.”

The victim has spoken out about his experience as Dyfed-Powys Police takes part in Operation Sceptre – a national week of action aimed at cracking down on the illegal possession of knives. A knife amnesty is taking place during the week (Sept 18-24), with people able to bin their knives at specific locations across the force no questions asked.

The 24-year-old has backed the operation, and the chance to get knives out of our communities.

“I’d prefer it if these people who carry knives with them be honest about who they are and why they have them on their person,” he said. “But it’s much more important that it’s an opportunity to get these weapons off the street.

“If the ability to do this anonymously is what gives these people the confidence to rid themselves of their weapons, then so be it.”

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Over £24,000 worth of fines handed out in first enforcement week

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IN the first week of new enforcement officers working across Pembrokeshire, 161 fines have been handed out, worth a possible £24,150.

160 of those fines are for littering, with 1 person fined for dog fouling, Pembrokeshire County Council have told The Herald.

Enforcement officers can give on-the-spot fines of up to £150 depending on the offence. This can be reduced to £75 if paid within 10 days.

If all 61 fines were paid within 10 days it would generate £12,075.

Fixed penalty notices can be given to people spotted dropping litter – including dropping cigarette ends – or allowing dog-fouling, as well as those responsible for fly-posting, graffiti, and anti-social behaviour.

The council has said that anyone who refuses to pay their fixed penalty will be prosecuted.

Cllr Paul Dowson told the Herald after the first 48 hours of the new policy: “This is a very big problem – we’ve been without enforcement for more than two years, so you’d expect people to get lacksey-daisy about it. Hopefully now with people being caught, it will cut it down.

“My overriding thought is you should know littering is bad, regardless where it is – so don’t do it.”

When questioned about the confusion over where the funds would go, Cllr Dowson told us that none of the profits would go to Pembrokeshire County Council: “As far as I’m aware, it’s a totally contracted out service where they self-fund and run like a regular business – if they don’t generate enough profit they will go bust. I’ve had info sent to me by the council that they are totally self-funded, there’s no money going back into the council.”

Cllr Dowson is pleased with the approach but is worried the focus is too much on littering: “My initial initiative was down to fly-tipping, not littering, I fought this one solo and nobody else is interested. It seems as though that’s not part of the remit, and I need to look into that because if it isn’t then my emphasis wasn’t listened to.”

Some members of the public have raised concerns that fly-tipping will only increase when black bag collections move to three-weekly.

Earlier this year, council plans were approved to move to three-weekly bin bags collections, on the basis that householders will need to place fewer items in black bags thanks to the increased recycling opportunities.

A maximum of three black bags will be collected per household every three weeks.

Any additional bags taken to the local civic amenity sites will not be charged for.

Additional containment will be provided for householders if required, upon request, for example for larger families.

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Minor tree incidents reported due to high winds

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THERE have been minor incidents involving trees around the county following high winds today (Sept 19).

Pembrokeshire County Council has reported three incidents, all relating to trees:

  • Large branch down in Bartletts Well Road, Sageston,
  • Tree in a precarious state in the grounds of Pennar Community School
  • Tree down in housing estate at Maes Hafren, Eglwyswrw

The last reported incident was at 11:45am.

A yellow weather warning is in place for Pembrokeshire tomorrow (Sept 20), with the Met Office warning of possible flooding and delays to bus and train journeys.

The warning is in place between 4am and 10pm.

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