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Tidal surges threaten the East Coast of the UK

13th Jan 2017

Expert in this field
Mark Baird


Client Director

T: +44 7880 780150

The news channels are reporting that strong winds, combined with the high tides, could cause powerful tidal surges along much of the East Coast of the UK today, and particularly during this evening’s high tide.

Latest predictions show that the timing of the strongest winds is unlikely to coincide with the high tides in each coastal area, which means that the risk of tidal flooding is not as severe as originally predicted.

As a precaution, residents are being evacuated from their homes in Jaywick, near Clacton-on-Sea, as well as other areas in Lincolnshire, Norfolk, Essex and Suffolk – including Lowestoft seafront and docks, the north bank of Lake Lothing, Oulton Broad near Mutford Lock, Snape, Iken and Southwold.

Environment Agency Warnings
The Environment Agency currently has 11 severe flood warnings in place, which has fallen from yesterday.  There are also 88 flood warnings in place, as well as 78 flood alerts – particularly along the east coast, reaching from the borders of Scotland, right down to the sea front at Southend.

The Environment Agency warns that at around midday today, we could see flooding in Felixstowe Ferry and Bawdsey Quay, Felixstowe Ferry Hamlet and the Deben Marshes, isolated riverside properties on the Deben estuary, and tidal Orwell at Ipswich quay.

Environment Agency teams have also moved temporary barriers and water pumps to depots and towns including Newcastle upon Tyne, Blythe, Great Yarmouth, Chelmsford, Rye, and Trusthorpe and South Ferriby in Lincolnshire. The Hull tidal barrier was operated last night and all east coast floodgates were closed.

Met Office Warnings  
The Met Office has also issued severe weather warnings for strong winds, snow and ice across England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland.  This is caused by a polar air mass coming in from northern Canada.

HelpLine
We’re increasing the customer support team manning our 24-hour emergency HelpLine – from later today and right through the weekend.  We will be ready to help customers if we should see a major flooding incident.

Claims Centres & Loss Adjusting Teams
We have technical claims handling staff on standby and they’re ready to work late into the evening today and over the weekend, as required.

Our loss adjusting field force and Sergon surveyors are also on standby.  They will be available to support customers requiring emergency visits, across all areas that are currently at risk – through our regional network, with our Ipswich office on high alert for this afternoon.

Next Update  Currently, the potential for tidal flooding is being downgraded, but we continue to monitor the situation carefully and remain ready to respond.

A further update will be issued if this latest bout of bad weather should turn into a serious flood event.

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