A row of picturesque beach huts are the latest victims of Storm Ellen after they were washed into the sea as heavy winds battered Britain.
The moment around 20 huts were left bobbing around in the waves at Woolacombe beach on Thursday night was caught on camera as crowds looked on in disbelief.
Coastal areas have been hit by winds of up to 70mph as Storm Ellen lashed the coast.
Local resident Richard Walden said he hadn’t witnessed such scenes of devastation, which left the beach out of bounds to visitors, in nearly two decades of living in the area.
He said: “The massive tides and winds gusting in excess of 50mph have caused havoc for holidaymakers in Woolacombe.
“Around 20 beach huts positioned well above the high tide mark have been either dislodged or in some cases smashed to pieces by the waves.
“There is debris everywhere and the Coastguard have declared the area out of bounds to the public, as hundreds of people watch in awe.
“The beach huts are hugely popular with visitors in the summer months and this will be devastating for people who had left possessions in them during their stay here.
“In 18 years of living here, I’ve never seen anything like it, but as far as I am aware, thankfully nobody has been hurt.”
The scenes emerged as Britain woke up to carnage caused by Storm Ellen, which the Met Office predicted would bring gusts of more than 50mph in places.
Steve Instance, RNLI water safety lead for the southwest, said: “When we experience conditions such as this, especially during the summer when the region is busy with visitors, it is incredibly important that those heading to the coast keep themselves safe by choosing a lifeguarded beach and visiting within the patrol hours of 10 am-6 pm.
“With changeover days for holidaymakers on Fridays and Saturdays, those arriving at the area may not be up to date with local news and forecasts so could be caught unaware of the conditions.”