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Alderney works together on evacuation plan

Alderney works together on evacuation plan

Friday 09 August 2019

Alderney works together on evacuation plan

Friday 09 August 2019

Generous Alderney residents have opened their homes to around 100 holiday-makers evacuated from the island's campsite, as bad weather draws ever nearer.

Winds reaching 50mph are forecast for the early hours of Saturday morning - which would be too strong for most tents at Saye to withstand.

Saye campsite Alderney

Pictured: The decision was made on Wednesday by the Campsite Warden to evacuate Saye Beach Campsite.

With Alderney Week in full swing the campsite had been at peak occupancy, with families from the Netherlands, France, Germany and the UK staying for the duration of the festival, along with some local regular campers. 

However most hotels and guest houses on the island were also full, leaving few options for the displaced visitors.

The States of Alderney, which has an emergency plan prepared for such incidents, was contacted and quickly stepped in with offers of labour and places to stay.

The Island Hall, the Methodist and Catholic Church Halls and the Masonic Lodge are all being made available to campers, and more help was on its way after an appeal on local radio was made for residents to help out if they could. Offers of spare rooms came flooding in.

Saye campsite Alderney

Pictured above and top: The take down continues at Saye. 

One of the evacuated campers was Ed Grigson, a Film and Media teacher at Guernsey's Grammar School, on holiday for a week with his brother and nephew, in a first time visit to Alderney.  He was due to stay until Saturday but expects to fly back early. He and his family were offered accommodation in the house of long time second home owner, Dr Geoff Ridgway, but Mr Grigson said: ''It was quite exciting to be told about the storm but there was some trepidation about what we were going to be doing.

"We didn't know if we were going to be blown off the campsite or sleep in the Town Hall. Very kindly Geoff stepped into the breach and given us some accomodation. To be taken in by generous islander is superb and we are very grateful to him."

"On Alderney we're used to bailing people out who get stranded at the airport," said Dr Ridgway. "This is slightly different but we haven't got family with us this Alderney Week so we've got spare rooms and we were in a position to help."

Caroline Yatsma, her husband and three small children, had travelled to Alderney for the second time in two years from their home in Amsterdam.

"We had two offers of help from people. I grew up in the Dutch Carribean and it reminded me of how it is there were all the islands help each other out. It won't put us off coming back!"

Zoe Sowden, campsite warden, thanked the public and the States for coming forward.

"Evacuating the campsite was not a decision I took lightly but it had to be done to keep people safe and actually the whole process has gone very smoothly.

"The reaction from the whole island has been tremendous. The States could not have done more to help. Campers have been offered places to stay in people's homes or annexes and some larger groups will have halls to themselves. It's an unfortunate thing to have happened on someone's holiday but everyone has been brilliant."

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