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29 October 2014

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You are in: Suffolk » Don't Miss » 1953 East Coast Floods

31st January 2003
Eastern Electricity Board - the restoration of electricity supplies
EEB service van swept off Southwold-Blythburgh road
EEB service van swept off Southwold-Blythburgh road
"The effect on the electricity distribution system was disastrous. There could be no conceivable precautionary plans for dealing with such a catastrophe."


307 people drowned

24,000 homes flooded

1,200 breaches along 1,000 miles of coastline

160,000 acres of farmland flooded

46,000 livestock lost

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About the organisation of repair work: "534 volunteers from unaffected parts of the Board’s own area and 50 volunteers from the area of the London Electricity Board were employed in the flooded localities…The movement of these men produced problems of providing accommodation for them at night and of providing food at the places where they had to work."

"The first priority in the restoration of electricity supplies was given to sewage and water pumping, gas manufacturing and other public services, including street l
ary lighting installations were erected at short notice to assist the work of repairing the sea defences…

Floodlights for sea defence work at Aldeburgh
Tripods carrying electric floodlights to illuminate sea defence work at Aldeburgh

"It was quite clear to the Board as soon as the restoration of supplies started that the problem was not only of restoring electricity supplies but also of restoring consumers’ own installations and appliances so that they could use the supply.

"The most important factor was restoring lighting, cooking and heating facilities but many of the installations and much of the apparatus was not safe to use and precautions had to be taken accordingly…."

The booklet ends with a list of awards received by employees for their work, and messages of thanks and appreciation. The Minister of Fuel and Power (The Rt Hon Geoffrey Lloyd MP) wrote to the Chairman saying he had been "greatly impressed by the fine efforts of all the grades" in the Industry in restoring and maintaining services under emergency conditions, and desired to put on record his "sincere appreciation of the magnificent work done."

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