Emergency repairs are being carried out to save a harbour arm after the violent storms of recent weeks.
Workers are carrying out the maintenance at Newhaven Harbour after four cracks appeared in the concrete wall.
The work has been described as “hugely important”, with the Dieppe ferry and a fleet of fishing boats all using the port.
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Harbour master Dave Collins-Williams told The Argus the work had to be carried out “as soon as possible” to prevent any further damage.
He said: “It started with St Jude in October last year when we had a minor breach.
“Since then it has been relentless and we’ve had three further breaches – all on the sea side.”
He explained that huge waves crash into the harbour arm, knocking chunks of concrete into the sea. Further waves then get in the cracks and cause greater damage.
He added: “The biggest crack is something like 20ft by 7ft. It’s quite sizeable.
“The trouble for those repairing it is getting out there. It is difficult work and conditions recently have hardly been ideal. In the last few days the weather has dropped off a bit so the work has now started.”
Thecompany entrusted with repairing the wall is Worthingbased AJC Contractors.
Workers go over the side of the wall in a cage crane and use a special German product to seal up gaps in the wall.
Mr Collins-Williams said: “It’s expensive but we’ve used it in the past. It’s quick and effective.
“The damage is something which has to be dealt with immediately and so we have taken action as soon as possible.”
Elsewhere across the county, residents and councils have begun repairs following a break in the weather.
In Seaford, bulldozers have spent the last fewdaysmoving shingle displaced by the storms.
Huge waves and strong winds uncovered longforgotten fishing stands on the town’s beach, while the storms also caused cracks in concrete sea defences.
In Brighton and Hove the council is facing the cost of repairing metal seafront railings which were damaged by the weekend storms.
The weather is looking more settled over the coming week with what the Met Office describes as a “return to normal wintry conditions”.
Aforecaster told The Argus: “There will still be some wind and rain but not the extreme weather we have seen recently.”