THE clean up continues today for residents battered by a ferocious storm that led to an army rescue.
A tidal surge combined with high winds saw 32 people evacuated from a sea front restaurant on the Milford on Sea shoreline after wind blew shingle smashing into the windows and water flooded in downstairs.
But mountains of debris, everything from buoys to life jackets to children's toys, still litter the beach and people's front gardens leaving them with much to do to make it right.
Numerous beach huts were also swept away both at Milford on Sea and further down the coast and residents said parts of the shingle sea defences at the spit that leads to Hurst Castle had been washed away.
As previously reported, the army had to be called in to rescue diners and staff at The Marine restaurant, in Hurst Road, on Friday night as well as firefighters that had come to rescue them because the flying shingle was so dangerous.
It left the army trucks that had come to rescue the stranded people severely damaged.
Residents told how they looked out to see a river running down Hurst Road with chairs and tables floating past and numerous emergency vehicles as well as the army.
One couple said they had thought it was rain hitting their roof and it was only when they opened their blinds that they realised it was actually spray from the huge waves hitting the beach.
Some also told of shingle pelting the windows as it had at the Marine restaurant further down and said the water had come right up to their doors, leaving them an inch away from flooding before the water receded.
Mike and Val Plummer, in their 50s, living near the restaurant on Hurst Road, could only watch the storm from their windows and monitor the wind speeds online and said it was definitely the worst they had seen in their nine years there.
Val added: “It was really dramatic. It was just awe inspiring, incredible - the sheer power of it.”
Daphne Austin, 70, said: “We have had severe storms here since November - it was just another one but a bit more than the others.
“The house stood up against it, though we have lost bits of roof.
“It's going to take us days to clear it up.”