Storm update: Coastal towns take on water as storm surge hits before high tide

Waves batter the seafront near the pier in Southwold. Waves batter the seafront near the pier in Southwold.

Friday, December 6, 2013
12:28 AM

Lowestoft, Southwold, Felixstowe and Ipswich were last night flooded as the storm surge hit Suffolk.

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The Strand at Wherstead as the tide rises at 11pmThe Strand at Wherstead as the tide rises at 11pm

Roads in Lowestoft including Station Street and the High Street were under water last night. And Mulford Lock was also flooded.

Further down in Southwold, the Harbour Inn once again took in flood waters in the surge that was the worst for 60 years.

Reporter Matthew Symington spent his late shift on the north Suffolk coast and said: “I drove along Coastal Road between Aldeburgh and Thorpeness at 10.30pm when it was already beginning to flood.”

He added: “Shops on Aldeburgh High Street have blocked their doors with sandbags and the local fire crew are on standby at the stony beach monitoring the water levels and ready to offer humanitarian assistance if necessary.”

He found a pair of holiday makers, who were staying in a ground floor flat on Market Cross Place, peering nervously at the sea, while owner of the Cross Keys Inn, Mike Clement, said his pub had flooded in the 1953 floods and he was prearing for a repeat.

“The salt in the wall is still there, it never leaves,” he said.

“We’ve just left it open, there is very little you can do really.

When we went to get sandbags there wasn’t any sand left. I don’t think it would have done much good anyway.

“If it is going to come it is going to come.”

The A12 was closed at Blythburgh, a police spokesman said it was “impassable” and advised motorists to avoid the area.

In Woodbridge, it was “eerily calm” according to reporter Tom Potter. He said people in Woodbridge had been told to leave their homes if necessary.

In Felixstowe, there is flooding at the ferry and reports of water on the prom along the main seafront.

In Ipswich there was flooding on the Strand, with drivers reporting that it is now impassable at the peak.