Photo galleries from the archives: How the floods of 1953, 1978 and 2007 affected the region

1953 FLOODSYARMOUTHDATED 1953PLATE P0102

1953 FLOODSYARMOUTHDATED 1953PLATE P0102

A rare combination of high tides and storm-force winds from the north and north-west are the nightmare scenario that creates flooding on the Norfolk and Suffolk coast.

1953 FLOODSSALVATION ARMY CANTEEN SERVING FLOOD WORKERS AT YARMOUTHDATED 1953PLATE P0097

1953 FLOODSSALVATION ARMY CANTEEN SERVING FLOOD WORKERS AT YARMOUTHDATED 1953PLATE P0097

The tides are expected to reach the same levels as during some of the worst floods to impact the region - however due to improved safety measures the impact should be much less severe.

1953 FLOODSCOBHOLM - 2ND DAYDATED 1953PLATE P0887

1953 FLOODSCOBHOLM - 2ND DAYDATED 1953PLATE P0887

The worst floods of modern times occurred on January 31, 1953 and were caused by a freak combination of winds, atmospheric pressure and high tides.

Sea defences were swept aside by the wall of water which swept into King's Lynn at 6.30pm, had reached Hunstanton by 7pm and was powering towards Great Yarmouth by 9pm.

Exactly 100 people were drowned, in Norfolk alone, that dreadful night. Thousands more spent a terrifying winter night, cowering on roofs, in trees, and on improvised rafts, soaked to the skin and lashed by salt-spray and hurricane-force winds. Tens of thousands more lost almost everything they owned and became homeless overnight.

More than 300 died along the east coast of England – and across the North Sea the Netherlands was even harder hit with a death toll of more than 1,800.

Some 25 years later, in 1978, hundreds of properties were flooded and a landmark pier was swept away in the furious sea.

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The sea had battered the coast, causing havoc to hundreds of residents who lived between Wisbech and Walcott.

Most of Hunstanton Pier was swept away during the floods and hundreds of caravans at Snettisham and Hunstanton were overturned.

There was also extensive flooding at Wisbech, and the hospital had to be closed for weeks.

A large area of Lynn town centre was under three feet of water and many other places around the coast suffered damage.

Meanwhile, a tidal surge in 2007 also saw thousands take precautions. Fortunately the damage caused was relatively minimal.

Photo gallery: Huge Norfolk evacuation operation begins from Hunstanton to Great Yarmouth

Norfolk and Suffolk floods latest: Police warn of 36 hours of disruption

Communities across Norfolk and Suffolk urged to brace themselves for severe weather

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