Welcome to our second update after the tidal surge which struck the eastern coast of England on the night of 5th – 6th December. We will provide you with regular updates as recovery progresses. Please do pass this information on to anyone that you feel would find it helpful. Your feedback about the content is very welcome as this will help us to shape future updates.

We hope that you find this helpful. The contact for you and your communities in Norfolk is Steve Hayman who is our Flood Ambassador for this county. Steve can be contacted on 01473 706052.


Our work force and contractors have been working non- stop since the surge event doing repairs to defences which provide protection to people and property. For the most part these emergency repairs have been completed. Our attention is now focusing on the defences that protect rural areas and environmentally important sites. Many of the defences that fall into these categories have suffered extreme and extensive damage that will be technically challenging and indeed extremely expensive to repair.

What’s happening in Norfolk now?

We are focussing our efforts on people and property as a matter of urgency. Below is a summary of the flooding experienced along the Norfolk coast and our action so far. We are also completing costs estimates and assessing technical feasibility for these works. Once we have a more complete picture we will have further discussions with Natural England in relation to sites identified under the Habitats Directive. We will need to consider the costs and implications of full repairs to reinstate sites alongside re-profiling or minor repairs and finally, no intervention. No decisions have yet been made and a key consideration will be to ensure that Government money is used most wisely to the benefit of the UK tax payer.

Great Yarmouth

Emergency works are being undertaken north of Cobham to reinstate the standard of protection to protect a large population of residents.

Blakeney West to Morston East

Damage to this defence is being repaired and this will be on-going over the coming weeks

Blakeney Freshes

The frontage suffered multiple breaches and repairing those will be both costly and challenging. We are assessing fully the environmental impacts and engaging with other environmental bodies and partners as we work towards a conclusion.

Brancaster east and west banks

There were multiple breaches and extensive overtopping of the banks. Compensatory habitat for freshwater habitat losses has not yet been confirmed, and as above we are engaging with Natural England to determine future management of banks. We are aware that the golf club was flooded. The defence responsible for providing protection to people and properties in Brancaster assessed at the moment. We have no reports of residential properties flooding here. We are currently scoping costs for repairs to these walls.

Burnham Deepdale

This area was also badly breached and we are in the process of establishing the cost of repairing the wall. Emergency works took place here on 6 December to repair one breach and we have completed full repairs this week to ensure properties directly affected are defended. Remaining breaches are repaired and we are now assessing costs for a more permanent solution.

Burnham Norton Cross Bank

We have assessed this defence and no further work is required.

Salthouse Shingle Ridge

The Salthouse Shingle Ridge, lowered in height and breached in 2 locations. 17 properties were flooded in Salthouse and 10 at the eastern end of Cley as a result of the shingle bank being overwhelmed. We are currently considering options here.

Cley beach road bank

There were a number of breaches and damage from overtopping and this wall is currently being repaired by our contractors to the existing standard of protection

Thornham Bank

The bank sustained some damage due to over-topping and our contractors are working to repair this wall.

Holme Dunes

A breach occurred near the golf course which has been temporarily repaired. Further investigation for long-term solutions are being considered.

Happisburgh to Winterton

Damage to beach access and structures at Happisburgh to Winterton means that our field teams are carrying out public safety works.

Hunstanton South to Snettisham

The two full breaches of the shingle defence between Snettisham and Hunstanton had been filled by last light on Friday 13 December.

Work continued to rebuild other low spots along the shingle bank using material available in the vicinity. We anticipate that the worst affected areas will have been bolstered by the end of this week. Due to the extensive damage to these defences, it may not be possible to restore them to the same level of protection as before.

King’s Lynn

More than 11,000 properties were protected from flooding by defences between Kings’ Lynn and Hunstanton. To date 36 properties (11 residential, 11 commercial, 13 caravans and one boat) have been reported as flooded.

We are now assessing all the defences in King’s Lynn in order to identify any urgently needed and longer-term repairs. We expect to receive a full report later this week.

Denver Sluice

Our initial assessment of flood defences also identified damage to Denver Sluice. The sluice gates are an integral part of the Ely Ouse Flood Protection Scheme and emergency repairs will ensure the continued protection of the South Level, Ely and Cambridge. The damaged gates do not pose an immediate flood risk but we need to install a temporary fix to ensure risk is minimised. Work is in hand to lift temporary damboards into place so that inspection and extent of repairs can be assessed.

Some of the coastal paths and structures in Norfolk remain unstable and we would urge people to be safe and stay away from these areas at the moment.

19 December 2013