Thursday, November 08, 2007

East Coast Floods

The BBC reports:

A tidal surge in the North Sea has sparked severe flood warnings and evacuations on England's east coast.

Prime Minister Gordon Brown has held an emergency Cobra committee meeting and the Environment Agency has warned of "extreme danger to life and property".

Low pressure and strong winds are causing the surge. Norfolk and Suffolk have eight severe flood warnings.

Later on the story mentions that:
Large parts of Lincolnshire, Norfolk, Suffolk, Essex and Kent were left under water in 1953, and 307 people died, when high tides and a storm saw a tidal surge of 3.2m (10ft 6in).
The Eastern Daily Press website has a comprehensive feature on the floods of 1953. And, as ever, my favourite writer as a child, Malcolm Saville was there too. He wrote in Sea Witch Comes Home (1960):

The great gale which, with the highest tide ever recorded, caused such damage in East Anglia, struck with its greatest force in Sole Bay between Lowestoft and Thorpeness in the late afternoon. Watchers all down the coast agreed that never had they seen so high a tide roar so ferociously and so fast up the flat beaches. No sooner had it turned than it seemed anxious to return hungrily to the attack.

Gigantic waves rolled relentlessly over the sands and hurled themselves against the crumbling cliffs which for years had kept back the sea from the coastal plain, tore away flimsy defences and breakwaters and flattened banks of shingle. As the tide came up, so the force of the north-westerly gale increased, and although the horizon was for a time clear-cut, the light began to fade and an unnatural twilight, full of foreboding, closed down on the threatened coast.

No comments: