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Norfolk coast escapes floods

PUBLISHED: 10:00 22 March 2008 | UPDATED: 10:40 03 July 2010

The high tide strands cars in the car park at Blakeney. Picture Bill Smith.

The high tide strands cars in the car park at Blakeney. Picture Bill Smith.

Robyn Greenacre

Norfolk took a battering but had a lucky escape last night as fears of flooding in coastal communities proved unfounded.

Waves crash over the sea wall at Walcott. Picture: Bill Darnell.

Norfolk took a battering but had a lucky escape last night as fears of flooding in coastal communities proved unfounded.

The Environment Agency yesterday put Wells, Walcott and Salthouse on flood warning - which meant homes and businesses were at risk and residents needed to prepare to leave if necessary.

The coastguard alerted lifeguards in the three areas to be alert to any problems and lifeboat crews around the region were on standby.

But fears of a repeat of last November's tidal surge, which left numerous homes flooded, subsided thanks to a sudden change in wind direction.

While some waves crashed over the sea wall, the main coast road from Bacton through Walcott remained open with only light surface water on it.

Flood wardens in fluorescent jackets came out in force to ensure safety and stood on the pavement next to the sea wall to watch the high tide pass, along with more than a dozen spectators.

One warden said: “It's far from being as bad as November. We've been lucky with the wind.

“If the wind had been in another direction a lot more water could have come over.”

In Salthouse, Cley and Blakeney it was a similar story, with water coming on to the marshes but not far enough inland to cause concern.

Retired fisherman Ivan Large said: “It could have been a lot worse but the wind has changed direction, keeping it at bay. It's a blessing.”

And in Wells, water just spilled over on to the quay with the only cause for concern being that the quay car park had not been shut early enough so the Environment Agency had to winch two cars to dry land.

Flood warden Dr Marie Strong said: “It was cold, wet, windy and unpleasant but it transpired not to be dangerous.

“We were anticipating a 3.99m tide and fortunately the wind came in just below.

“Every alert makes us more aware flood sirens are needed.”

A spokesman from the Environment Agency said the forecast for the next couple of days meant there was nothing to worry about on the Norfolk coast at this point in time.

He said: “There should still be strong winds but it doesn't look as bad as it has been.

“Predicting the weather though is inherently difficult and so we update our forecasts every six hours.”

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