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24 September 2014

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Stormy weather at Wells-next-the-Sea
Stormy weather at Wells-next-the-Sea

Spring tides: the morning after

Sea defences around the Norfolk coast escaped serious damage following high tides and winds on Sunday night.

Flood defence engineers have been counting the cost of the high tides and storm force winds which have battered the Norfolk coast since the weekend.

The defences on the west coast of Norfolk between Hunstanton and Snettisham took the full force of the north westerly gales, and some of the shingle was clawed away by the high tide.

At one time there were eight flood warnings in place, stretching from King's Lynn to Great Yarmouth.

Flood wardens on hand to help
Flood wardens on hand to help

Inspections have been carried out by the Environment Agency following a night which saw an evacuation centre set up in Hunstanton, cliff top gardens eroded in Happisburgh and a seaside café threatened with collapse in Winterton.

At Wells-next-the-Sea, the car park filled with sea water and fishermen worked to secure their boats.

In Hunstanton, police sealed off the road at one of the caravan parks. Around half a dozen families opted not to leave their seaside homes, but brave the storm.

"There's gale force winds blowing in a northerly direction which has been going all day and that's created a surge on the normal tide of about a metre," said local flood risk manger, Nigel Woonton.

Some families came to watch the storm lash the coast - including the Ward family who were among 2000 people in Norfolk who were without power.

"We had a power cut earlier on for about half an hour and we sat there in candlelight. We want to see what all the excitement's about. In all the time I've been here I've never seen it this high," said John Ward.

Tea and reassurance were on offer at an emergency evacuation centre set up a school in Hunstanton, but just a handful of people turned up.

Mollie and her sister Aleesha, from Kettering, were on holiday with their grandparents.

"We packed the caravan - all the clothes back in the suitcases. We though it would be safest to move on out," said her grandmother.

The shingle bank at Snettisham was damaged - eaten back by the waves, but no sea defences were breached.

On Monday evening the water levels were being monitored along the length of the coast.

last updated: 14/02/05
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