March 12 2014 Latest news:
Saturday, January 18, 2014
Flood gates around King’s Lynn’s historic quays will be replaced as part of a £1.2m refurbishment of the town’s defences.
Waters came within inches of overwhelming gates around the Outer Purfleet during the December storm surge.
Today Julie Foley, area manager for the Environment Agency, said work on replacing the structures would begin in April.
“The flood gates are over 30 years old and they need replacing,” she said. “They’ve never been tested in this way before.
“The flood gates did well to withstand this significant event, but it’s clear that significant investment is needed. We need a new set of gates.”
Environment Agency officials revealed the move as they showed North West Norfolk MP Henry Bellingham and parish councillors work which has been carried out since the December 5 storm.
Parts of the shingle bank, which protects 3,000 caravans, had been reduced to around a quarter of its width by the highest tide for 60 years.
“We imported 1,000 tonnes of carr stone rock armour from a local quarry to replace what was lost,” said EA project manager Ryan Ely. “We used 9,200 tonnes of sand and shingle from Snettisham Scalp and that meant we were able to reinstate the ridge to 75pc of its planned width.”
A tide mark showing how high the waters rose in December was clearly visible on the side of one property on the seaward side of the bank. Engineers hope the work will enable the defences to withstand the next set of high tides, which are expected around February 1.
North West Norfolk MP Henry Bellingham said: “We can’t be too complacent, there’s got to be future investment, we’ve got to repair the damage that’s been done.”
Officials expect the work at Snettisham to cost around £100,000. The figure does not include repairing damaged hides and habitats on the nearby RSPB reserve.