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

Wednesday 29th January, 2003 - 09:00 GMT
1953 floods - What areas were affected?
The East Anglia was greatly affected by the tidal surge which then flooded many areas. In particular, Felixstowe suffered extensive damage.
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East Coast Floods 1953

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What happened to Felixstowe?

Langer Rd, Felixstowe -  (pic 24seven)
Langer Rd, Felixstowe (pic 24seven)

  • 39 died, victims ranged from babies to over 80’s, some drowned in their beds

  • hundreds made homeless

  • surge hit just after midnight on the Sunday morning

  • expected flooding from the sea, not the river

  • river wall between dock and Fagbury Point collapsed and breached in seven places

  • tidal surge engulfed an estate of prefab bungalows at the junction of Langer Road and Orford Road

  • flooding to depth of 9 ft in places

  • bungalows ripped from their foundations and floated away

  • 28 people clinging to roofs were swept away and drowned

  • only stopped when it reached rising ground at Ordnance Corner

  • families were on roofs in cold, dark and wet, awaiting rescue - when they were finally rescued some were almost too cold to let go

  • some waited several hours, some were not rescued until Monday am

  • rowing boats, some from Butlins, took people to safety

  • improvised oars used - in one case shovels

  • four whole families were lost

  • one man who escaped by swimming, looked over his shoulder and saw his bungalow following him

  • caravans capsized

  • beach huts smashed

  • Cavendish Hotel in Felixstowe opened up as an evacuation centre and it remained open for about two weeks housing many of the people who had lost their homes and possessions

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