‘Flood? What flood?’ Pub back open just hours after tidal surge flooding

The Harbour Inn is now back to normal after the flooding L-R Jonathan Barnes, George Taylor, Tom Hea

The Harbour Inn is now back to normal after the flooding L-R Jonathan Barnes, George Taylor, Tom Heal, Alap Dave, Andy Dyas Picture: SARAH LUCY BROWN - Credit: Archant

Most places submerged under a foot of water after a flood would be out of action for weeks.

But one pub’s miraculous clean- up operation meant it was back open and pulling pints hours after high tides left it swamped in seawater.

Dramatic photos and video showed huge waves crashing against the coast in Southwold during this week’s tidal surge.

One of the areas affected was Southwold Harbour, which regularly floods in high tides.

But businesses in the historic working port got 24--hour advance notice of the rising sea levels from the Environment Agency, giving them crucial time to prepare for the storm to hit.

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Staff at the Harbour Inn took precautions to move the majority of the watering hole’s furniture out of the way in readiness – so when the storm hit, all they needed to do was wait for the water to subside and clear the debris.

Rather than spending weeks if not months repairing the damage and replacing furniture, the team quickly moved tables and chairs back downstairs so the Harbour Inn could be open within hours.

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Mark Cooper, general manager at the Harbour Inn, said the team managed “quite a turnaround” to have the pub open for business just a few hours after it was flooded: “We’re so used to it now”, he said. “It happens most years.

“There’s always going to be flooding here because of our location. We were able to move most of the furniture upstairs and thankfully there’s no permanent damage.”

Mr Cooper posted a picture of the re-assembled pub on the Harbour Inn’s Facebook page with the caption: “Flood? What flood!” The Harbour Inn was last flooded in 2017.

Flood warnings remained in place for Norfolk and Suffolk and Southwold Harbour was covered in debris.

Suffolk county councillor for Southwold Michael Ladd has spoken of his relief as beach huts and businesses in Southwold escaped any major damage.

Mr Ladd, who lives in Southwold, said: “We are relieved high tide has passed without a major incident.

“We get a tidal surge like this once every two or three years.

“We had warnings and I think we’re much more prepared now, these days we tend to be ready for the worse case scenario.”

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