Gallery: Floods threaten Suffolk’s coastal communities

Parts of Suffolk were flooded at high tide on Wednesday 22nd October. Places included Southwold Harb

Parts of Suffolk were flooded at high tide on Wednesday 22nd October. Places included Southwold Harbour and parts of Aldeburgh golf course. The Coast Guards were on stand by at Snape. - Credit: Archant

Flood defences along Suffolk’s coast stood firm against the threat of breaching, which today spread panic among communities still reeling from the devastation of December’s storm surge.

Strong winds, high water and a tidal surge left defences perilously close to overtopping in Snape, Southwold, Aldeburgh and Bawdsey - though the Environment Agency insists its defences held in place.

Southwold’s Harbour Inn was one of the few businesses to suffer flooding - but nothing on the scale of last December when it was submerged by five feet of water.

Landlord Nick Attfield said the worst came last night and had fizzled out by yesterday’s high tide. “My whole strategy is let the pub flood, clear up and reopen as quickly as possible - I’ve got to get the money through the tills to pay staff and suppliers,” he said.

Anna Hind, restaurant manager at the nearby Sole Bay Fish Co, could still remember last year’s devastation and was anxious to find the harbour flooded this morning.

“My stomach dropped with nerves,” she said. “But luckily our little business was in an island that had not been engulfed by water - last time it was three feet deep.”

Staff at The Crown in Snape listened avidly to the flood updates in fear of a repeat of last year’s surge,which drowned a gang of turkeys and forced the pub’s closure for about three months.

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Landlady Teresa Cook was relieved to learn the high tide had subsided without any breach and praised the Environment Agency for keeping coastal communities informed.

“I was feeling very anxious on Tuesday night because it was a pretty awful experience last year and I didn’t want to go through it all again,” she said.

High water was also reported as coming close to breaching at Aldeburgh and Bawdsey, however the Environment Agency said its defences throughout Suffolk held out.