Flood alerts no longer in force on Norfolk and Suffolk coast

Waves crash against the defences at Walcott, but the risk of a sea change has subsided. Picture: ANT

Waves crash against the defences at Walcott, but the risk of a sea change has subsided. Picture: ANTONY KELLY - Credit: Archant

The nine flood alerts issued for the Anglian region by the Environment Agency are no longer in force.

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The warnings for the tidal River Yare from Thorpe St Andrew to Breydon Water, the tidal Deben Estuary, the Suffolk and Essex Coast from Felixstowe to Clacton including Orwell and Stour Estuaries and the Essex Coast from Clacton to St Peters Flat including the Rivers Colne and Blackwater Estuaries were removed shortly after 1pm today (Wednesday).

Earlier flood alerts for the North Norfolk coast – from old Hunstanton to and including Cley – and at Salthouse and East Cley, Suffolk Coast at Southwold, Suffolk Coast from Lowestoft to Bawdsey and tidal River Waveney from Ellingham to Breydon Water, were removed at about 11am.

Last night, improving weather and a drop in wind strengths looked set to spare the region from a damaging storm surge around our coastline today.

Emergency services had feared a low pressure weather system coinciding with a run of high tides and strong gusts could cause flooding in some areas. But predictions have changed, with the low tracking further north, away from our shores.


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Norfolk's chief fire officer, Roy Harold, said: 'The situation has improved, and the forecasts given to us yesterday suggests no major hazards. On Monday, we were heading towards potential flood alerts between Old Hunstanton and Sea Palling and a flood warning in Walcott.

'However, while we do expect there to be strong winds and heavy rain on Wednesday and Thursday, the good news now is that the forecasts suggest no specific flooding problems and no warnings or alerts are currently expected.

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'If things do get worse between now and Wednesday and Thursday morning, we would ask drivers and pedestrians not to go through flooded water, as the water might be deeper than they think and there might be hidden holes in the ground.'

Adam Dury, a forecaster with Norwich-based Weatherquest, said: 'The general deepending of the low hasn't happened as expected and it's tracked north of the North Sea. It's going to be well close to Scandinavia. I don't think there's any hint of tidal surge there.'

An Environment Agency spokesman said: 'Although there have been slight changes to the wind, which fluctuates throughout the day and in different parts of the coast at different times, the main reason for the change in forecast is that there has been a change to the low pressure. This means that the predicted surge of water will now be lower. At the same time it will no longer coincide with the astral high tide.'

Low pressure, strong winds and high tides came together in a perfect storm in December 2013, causing a storm surge which left a trail of damage to coastal homes, businesses and sea defences.

A spokesman for West Norfolk council: 'There are no alerts to be issued for the west Norfolk Coast and it will not be necessary to close the gates. There may be some spray as winds will be from the north west. There are no alerts or warnings for King's Lynn, West Lynn or the tidal river to Denver.'

Spray is expected to come over Hunstanton prom, unless the westerly wind drops before high water, around 5pm.

The tide is also expected to briefly over-top the quay at Wells, but the town's flood barriers are not expected to be deployed.

Marie Strong, joint co-ordinator of Wells flood wardens, said: 'We're delighted to hear that all we'll be getting at Wells is a flood alert, we're expecting it to come over the top of the quay but no further.'

Great Yarmouth Borough Council said: 'Since Friday, the forecast in Great Yarmouth has improved and the expected conditions are now no worse than the average winter storm.'

A spokesman for Waveney District Council said: 'At this stage the forecast does not suggest any major issues, however we will continue to monitor the situation.'

Flood warning information, as well as guidance about preparing for floods, can be obtained from the Environment Agency by calling 0845 988 1188 or clicking here.

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