The Army and emergency services have rescued 32 people trapped by surging flood water in a beachfront restaurant in Hampshire.
Windows at the Marine Restaurant were also smashed by shingle picked up by fierce winds in the town of Milford on Sea on Friday night.
Diner Cherry Waite said it “was a bit like the Titanic” as they had “all been enjoying themselves”…
Restaurant general manager Stephen Caunter said: “It was very scary, the windows were smashing one at a time on the ground floor and then started upstairs on the first floor.
“The whole restaurant upstairs is destroyed.
“Most of the cars in the car park are either gone or underwater or a write-off.
He said the restaurant would be closed for “a month or so” and that “the whole ground floor area was in water”.
“There was no panic, people were very good,” he said.
Some rescue vehicles were hit by debris but none of the diners were seriously injured…
Mrs Waite said she had been out for a Valentine’s meal when halfway through the dinner they were asked to vacate their seats “because the shingle was coming up and tides were knocking the downstairs windows“.
She said: “They suspected it would happen on the upper floor where we were, so we were moved further back into the restaurant.
“And then 10 minutes later we were all told ‘quick, we’ve all got to move to another room’.
That’s a heckuva wind. I’ve been through more than one hurricane with mature trees snapped like twigs. Never had to worry about shingle stones picked up off a beach and smashing in the windows.