March 8 2014 Latest news:
Friday, December 6, 2013
Officials have said there is less chance of flooding across the region today with lower water levels expected at high tides than overnight.
Following a night of severe storms which left a trail of destruction in its wake along the East Anglian coast, the Environment Agency has played down some concerns that already battered seaside resorts will be struck by renewed tidal surges.
High tides are expected today at Lowestoft at around 11.40am, Felixstowe at 1.40pm and Clacton-on-Sea, Essex, at 2pm.
But a spokesman for the Environment Agency said these will not be “as severe” as overnight, predicting water levels to be lower during the high tides – possibly up to a 1m in places.
She said no sea defences had been reported to the agency as being damaged in Suffolk or north-east Essex.
The Environment Agency spokesman said: “The majority of severe flood warnings are being downgraded this morning with the second tides coming through this morning. The forecast for them is to be lower and not as severe.
“It is an improving situation but there are still high winds and a lot going on down the coast so people need to be careful and should avoid going back there.”
She added there was “very little damage” to the sea defences, helped by advanced warnings which prompted safety work in the days leading up to the storms, thought to have been the worst in a generation.
No major injuries were reported to authorities during the storms, in stark contrast to 1953 when England’s east coast was devastated by a huge tidal surge, leaving 307 people dead and 40,000 homeless.
The spokesman explained large-scale improvements to sea defences since then has been a signficant factor in the protection of homes and residents.
“Overnight water levels were slightly higher than forecast, such as north Norfolk, and were slightly lower in other places, such as Great Yarmouth which was below 1953 levels,” she said.
“In general across East Anglia water levels were around the same as those seen in 1953, with 65 properties flooded along the east coast and 170 people staying at rest centres in Suffolk.
“But while it was roughly the same as 60 years in water levels we coped much better because of the improvements to sea defences. Hundreds of people died back then but it is completely different now.”
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