Storm Eunice to be 'worse than expected' says forecaster
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RNLI’s water safety manager Ross MacLeod has urged people to avoid coastal areas and stay at home as Storm Eunice is about to hit with winds in excess of 90mph across the UK. Mr MacLeod told people not to take the warnings lightly as many victims of life-threatening tempests like the one about to batter the country ignored advice or found themselves in the proximity of the coast by accident. BBC Weather forecast Eunice to be one of the worst storms in the last 30 years and Mr MacLeod advised “selfie people”, hikers, and dog walkers alike to “respect the warnings” and stay as far away as possible from beach areas with flying debris and ’20ft waves’ expected to create havoc.
The Met Office issued a red warning for wind, which is the highest possible degree of alert, as the coasts of Devon, Cornwall, Somerset, and Wales will be high-risk spots with gusts of up to 90mph expected throughout the day.
Talking to LBC, the water safety manager labelled Eunice the “perfect storm of conditions”.
He said: “You’ve got the extremely high wind, I was looking on some of the forecasts early on, there’s some 20-foot waves on the coast of Cornwall and Devon.
“So they are some really extreme conditions and unfortunately we know from the statistics at least half the people that drown every year around the coast every year weren’t expecting to be in the water.
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“These are people going for a walk, a run or taking the dog out, maybe taking a photo.
“And I am sure most of those people left the house that morning thinking it would never happen to them.
“And sadly that will be the case and it will continue to happen in the future so we’re really asking people to have a think about your own behaviour over the next couple of days.
“Obviously we’re capable of making our own decisions
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Mr MacLeod also made the gloomy prediction, saying that it will be a “very busy” few hours for emergency workers.
He said: “We want people to understand the risk and, as I said earlier on, we worked with the Met Office and they don’t take issuing a Red Warning lightly.
“This is sort of a really extreme event and it doesn’t happen very often so they really know their stuff, so I’d certainly urge people to respect these warnings and keep yourself safe, watch it from the distance.
“It’s gonna be an extremely busy day for the paramedics, the fire crews, and the coast guard [so] try to make their lives as easy as possible and don’t put yourself in unnecessary risks situations.”
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When asked if it was a “good idea” for the authorities to ban people from entering sea areas, he admitted that it would be too “difficult to enforce”.
He continued: “I think with the information that we got available these days with the Met Office and other partners there’s a wealth information around the warnings that people can look at and make their own informed decisions and ultimately it’s a personal choice whether you go down tomorrow but there’s a lot of experts advising them against it so you’re very much doing at your own risk.”
Hundreds of schools in Devon remain closed for safety reasons today as Storm Eunice is about to batter the country.
The west and east of England and the south of Wales can expect gusts of up to 100mph to wreak havoc.
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