Flood damage being surveyed at Hunstanton, Heacham and Snettisham in West Norfolk

William Searle stands on one of the set of steps that were damaged on Hunstanton's promenade during last weeks storms. Picture: Ian Burt William Searle stands on one of the set of steps that were damaged on Hunstanton's promenade during last weeks storms. Picture: Ian Burt

Tuesday, December 10, 2013
9:27 AM

Environment Agency engineers are assessing the damage to West Norfolk’s sea defences in the aftermath of the storm.

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Sea walls and sluice gates saved the area from the worst of the surge, although businesses on Hunstanton sea front, including the resort’s Sea Life Sanctuary, suffered flooding.

Thousands of holiday homes along the coast between Hunstanton and Snettisham were protected by the “soft” shingle, while King’s Lynn’s defences also kept the waters at bay.

A spokesman for the Environment Agency said: “We are starting to stand people down from incident response and are moving into the recovery phase.

“That includes the ongoing assessment of our flood defences, which will determine our next steps.

“We continue to work with our partners to review the impact of flooding and to ensure that damage to flood walls and banks is repaired as soon as possible.”

The EA said it had issued an “unprecedented number” of severe flood warnings as the storm tides bore down on the coast.

At Hunstanton, tonnes of chalk and carrstone have been brought down from the resort’s famous cliffs.

West Norfolk council said the damage was being assessed.

“Rock falls are a common occurrence with high tides such as we experienced last week,” a spokesman said. “Warning signs are already in place as this sort of deterioration is not unusual and we do advise people to take care around the cliff area.

“An assessment of the cliffs at Hunstanton is being carried out to ascertain how much of the cliff has been affected or lost following last week’s tidal surge. More will be known once the assessment has been carried out.

“We are aware that some fence lines can be seen and it is likely that this is old fencing as this is not removed when new fencing is installed in front of it.”

Hunstanton-based pleasure boat operator William Searle said funding needed to be found for rock armour – large boulders which would protect the base of the sea walls running along the north and south promenades.

He said the wall along the prom also needed to be raised by 18ins and the Kit Kat Ramp – a slipway which stood near the Oasis – should be reinstated. He added: “They say they haven’t got the money for it, but it’s got to be found.”

But the EA said it was too early to look at specific areas.

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