Flood alerts continue in Norfolk Broads for sixth day

Geldeston flooding Norfolk Broads

A flood alert has been issued today for the tidal rivers of Bure, Ant and Thurne, following a week of flood risk in the Norfolk Broads caused by high spring tides. - Credit: Mike Page

Flood experts continue to be on tenterhooks as the Broads river system remains at risk of flooding.

An alert was issued on Sunday by the Environment Agency for the tidal rivers of Bure, Ant and Thurne, with high water levels expected around Potter Heigham, Wroxham boat yards and Ferry road in Horning.

The Broads community has been braced for flooding following a week of warnings and alerts but it's hoped the danger will subside by the start of next week.

Flood alert Norfolk Broads

A map of the flood alert area - Credit: Environment Agency

Water levels remain high across the Broads river system due to high spring tides creating a 'locking' effect which is preventing the normal drainage of water out into the North Sea.

Heavy rain on Saturday exacerbated fears but fortunately the area hasn't seen serious flooding so far.

Broads River Watch founding member Paul Rice. Picture: Andrew Stone

Broads River Watch founding member Paul Rice. Picture: Andrew Stone - Credit: Archant

Paul Rice, senior flood warden for Potter Heigham said: "Hopefully this will be the last of the high tides.

"We continue to monitor the situation and have flood barriers in place. We had also raised the saline barrier earlier this week but this has now been lowered. There has been higher salt levels this year which is cause for concern due to the danger to marine life in the river systems.

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"We need to work with nature, not against it.

"The next challenge is to build a cohesive plan for the future to protect against flooding and this needs to be done by working across organisations and agencies."

Flooding on the Norfolk Broads in Geldeston

Flood water surrounds the Locks Inn Community Pub at Geldeston Locks - Credit: Mike Page

This week has seen flooding in a number of areas in the Broads.

Flood water spilled over in the Potter Heigham area and also further inland in Surlingham.

In Geldeston, the River Waveney overtopped and caused substantial water to cover the flood plains.

Earlier this week, Mr Rice, who is also the founder of Broads River Watch, voiced his concern over the impact of climate change and the danger this poses to the Norfolk Broads.

Mr Rice said: "It's really having its impact. Flooding used to happen a few times a year, now it's a few times a month. 

"Provisions to prevent flood damage need to improve. Local authorities need to start creating new resilience plans to deal with increasing floods.

"We need to start championing self-reliance, resilience and community cooperation."