Waldringfield: Homeowners hope defensive wall can protect from future surges

Waldringfield tidal Flood. Stan Baston. Waldringfield tidal Flood. Stan Baston.

Tom Potter tom.potter@archant.co.uk
Tuesday, December 17, 2013
8:30 AM

Widespread flooding caused by recent storm surges has given renewed impetus to a pioneering document being compiled to secure the future of a Suffolk waterway.

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Homes, businesses and farms were inundated when low pressure combined with high tides to swell water levels along the Deben Estuary earlier this month.

In Waldringfield, downriver from Woodbridge, several homeowners have been in talks with The Deben Estuary Partnership (DEP), the Environment Agency (EA) and Suffolk Coast and Heaths AONB about plans to defend their properties from future flooding by establishing a protective wall.

The EA’s senior coastal advisor for the area, Karen Thomas, said 16 properties were flooded in the village, where the developing DEP plan will recommend extra protection when submitted for public consultation and raised with the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (Defra) next year.

Neil Winship, the village’s emergency planning officer and flood warden liaison, said the floods had validated the need for enhanced defences along the river. He added: “There is no reasonable doubt that climate change is under way. The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) has been quite clear in its summary for policy-makers that it is “extremely likely” that human activity is the predominant cause.

“There will be more extreme weather events but it is impossible to predict exactly where and when. The idea that if you bang the drum hard enough scientists will come up with a definite prediction is just ignorant and wrong.

“It is highly probable there will be a deeper surge between now and 2050 - and an even higher one before 2100. There is no justification in saying it only happens every 60 years. It could happen at any time.

“There was loss and suffering but it was also a thundering good wake up call that we must do our bit to curb climate change and look to how we fund mitigating methods.”

Residents of the Quayside want to install a defensive wall of 3.6m above Ordnance Datum (OD) to defend against breaches to the river wall in the future. The depth of the recent surge was 3.3m.

Homeowners are working with the EA and the DEPartnership to find out how their proposed wall can be match-funded. The EA and DEP are also working on strengthening defences elsewhere on the Deben.

If you have photo evidence of the flooding to contribute, contact karen.thomas@environment-agency.gov.uk.

2 comments

  • I see the usual old drum is being banged when perfectly natural weather event has happened. Nobody blamed "Global warming" in 1953 and here we have "Neil Winship, the village’s emergency planning officer and flood warden liaison" categorically stating "“There is no reasonable doubt that climate change is under way." He obviously hasn't seen the news this week that the polar ice cap is getting thicker and there is no real evidence of global warming. Yes the properties need protection from the next tidal surge which is caused by a combination of weather systems but please don't lets fall into the old trap of so-called "global warming". He'll be wanting a wind turbine at Waldringfield next.

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    John Alborough

    Tuesday, December 17, 2013

  • John Alborough and fellow deniers, should at least try to produce some credible evidence. Hardly suprising at this time of year if the Arctic ice cap has grown thicker but it has got a lot further to go to return to to its 1953 area and thickness. Likewise the Greenland icecap, the Antarctic ice shelves and majority of the World's glaciers. Regrettably Climate Change is a predominantly post-war phenomenum and Global Warming at recent rates is post industrialisation rather than an 'an old drum.' The influence of climate change on regional and local weather is recognised as complex but just 'clutching at straws' will not help anyone who is indunated in England, The Phillipines, Tuvalu or New Orleans.

    Report this comment

    Neil Winship

    Sunday, December 22, 2013

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