BBC HomeExplore the BBC
This page has been archived and is no longer updated. Find out more about page archiving.

27 November 2014
suffolksuffolk
DON'T MISS...

BBC Homepage
England
»BBC Local
Suffolk
Things to do
People & Places
Nature
History
Religion & Ethics
Arts and Culture
BBC Introducing
TV & Radio

Sites near Suffolk

Cambridgeshire
Essex
Norfolk

Related BBC Sites

England
 

Contact Us


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

Wednesday 29th January, 2003 - 12:23 GMT
Flood defence - then and now
Find out how flood defences have developed through the ages. The section covers 1953 to the present.
SEE ALSO

1953 East Coast Floods

BBC Weather:
East Coast Floods 1953

WEB LINKS

Met Office

Environment Agency

Weather Quest

The BBC is not responsible for the content of external websites.

FACTS

1953 EAST COAST FLOODS:

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

PRINT THIS PAGE
View a printable version of this page.
get in contact

1953

Many people blamed the extent of the 1953 flooding disaster and the 307 lives lost on the complex and confusing legacy of flood defence administration

The Waverley Committee, set up by the Government in the wake of the 1953 disaster to examine the causes of the flooding, and make recommendations for measures in case of a recurrence found many organisations and people responsible but no one with overall responsibility.  The Committee summed up arrangements as “indefensible”.

Many felt that it was time the coast was seen as one unit instead of being managed piecemeal. But despite all this, the idea that sea defence was a local matter prevailed and the many organisations remained more or less as before.

The catastrophic floods of 1953 did, however, trigger a major assessment of flood risk from the tidal Thames, resulting in a massive programme of tidal defences over the following decades and culminating in the building of the Thames Barrier, which first became operational in October 1982.

1965

The River Boards were replaced by River Authorities, with a wider remit particularly for water resource management.

1974

The River Authorities were grouped into ten new regional Water Authorities, taking on the additional roles of water supply and sewage treatment.

1982

Thames Barrier becomes operational. Combined with the upstream and downstream tidal defences along the river, the Barrier protects London against the risk of surge tides.   The Barrier was first closed against tidal risk in February 1983

1989

1989 marked the separation of “operation” and “regulation”. Privatisation of water supply and sewage treatment in England and Wales, with a new regulatory body - the National Rivers Authority – created as a watchdog for the water environment and the largest operating authority for flood defence in England and Wales.

1996

Environment Agency formed, taking on all NRA responsibilities including flood defence, within a wider environmental remit to protect air, land and water.  Key aspects of the Environment Agency’s work in relation to flood defence continue to include assessing flood risk and ways of reducing its impact; advising planning authorities and developers in order to avoid development pressure in flood risk; investment in flood defence, flood warning and public awareness.

2000

Government commissions a review of flood and coastal defence funding mechanisms as an outcome of Spending Review 2000. SR2000 identified a possible need for more funds to maintain current levels of protection and meet the needs of eg climate change.  The Review also addresses the need for any changes to institutional arrangements.  Out come of the review is anticipated in early 2002.



line
Top | Floods Index | Don't Miss Index | Home
we want to hear from you
This is about:
Your comment/review/talk board submission:
your name:
your e-mail address:
Town/City/Country:
your phone number (optional):
The BBC will use the information you provide, including that collected via ‘cookies’ (which tell us which of our web pages you visit and how you move around them) to run and improve this service/site. We will not use your details for any other purpose.

We would also like to use your details to inform you of services, information about this site, and events that we believe will interest you. If you wish to receive contact from the BBC other than for the service for which you are expressly giving your personal information, please tick below and we will add you to our weekly newsletter.
Click in the box to be added to the newsletter

View message boards »
More from this section
Features

More features
Great photos
Community!
Music Top Tens win! win! win!

Contact Us

BBC Suffolk Website
Broadcasting House
St Matthew's Street
Ipswich
Suffolk
IP1 3EP

(+44) 01473 250000
suffolk@bbc.co.uk




About the BBC | Help | Terms of Use | Privacy & Cookies Policy