Students move back into seafront accommodation as clean up effort begins

Cleanup efforts have begun on the seafront – Photo Tomos Nolan

STUDENTS living in the seafront halls of residence have been allowed back after the storm has passed.

Around 150 students were evacuated on Monday (6th January) and have been staying in alternative accommodation on the Penglais campus where food and hot drinks have been provided free of charge by the University. As well as this, 100 students living in private sector accommodation were also offered accommodation and free food and hot drinks following the evacuation.

The promenade, which has been covered in rocks from the beach and paving which has been ripped up by the gale-force winds, has begun to be cleared by Ceredigion Council. Firstly, footpaths are to be cleared to make it accessible to the public, with fences expected to be erected later to inhibit access while the cleanup continues.

Local resident Rachel Moore has set up a Facebook group, entitled ‘Help Save the Seafront‘, where more information can be found for those willing to volunteer to help with the cleanup, with permission and direction from Council officials.

Five days of relentless storm, including high tides and exceptional wave swell has left the seafront “almost unrecognisable”, according to locals.

The weather is meant to calm down over the next few days, but flood warnings still remain in place around Aberystwyth. Train lines between Aberystwyth and Machynlleth were originally cut off due to flooding, but normal service was resumed last night at around 7pm.

Pro-Vice Chancellors Rebecca Davies and Professor John Grattan have advised students that it is now safe to return to the University. Some stormy weather continues to affect various areas of the UK, however, and it is advised that you check with local train/bus operators and road news before commencing on your journey.

They thanked all students for their cooperation and support during the past few days during the stormy weather.

The historic Victorian shelter, a grade II listed building, is on the verge of collapse after storms broke the sea wall – Photo Tomos Nolan

Davies said: “The past few days have been difficult for those living in sea front halls and we are very pleased to finally be in a position to let everyone return to their accommodation.”

“Given all that has been happening, the students have been very understanding and spirits have been very good. We are also very grateful to members of staff, the emergency services, Ceredigion County Council and Natural Resources Wales, the local community, rail and bus operators, who have been tireless in their efforts to ensure that all our students were safe, dry and out of harm’s way.”Rebecca Davies Pro Vice-Chancellor for Student and Staff Services said: “The past few days have been difficult for those living in sea front halls and we are very pleased to finally be in a position to let everyone return to their accommodation.”