Floods: West Norfolk two weeks on

Dam boards going in at Denver Sluice Dam boards going in at Denver Sluice

Saturday, December 21, 2013
11:14 AM

Dam boards have been installed at Denver Sluice after engineers found gates had been damaged by the storm tides.

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The gates prevent water from the tidal Ouse entering the freshwater system, protecting Ely, Cambridge and their surrounding areas. They open as levels fall in the tidal river, allowing water from inland to flow out to sea. But they close as the tide rises, preventing flooding upstream. The Environment Agency said the damage was discovered during a routine survey of defences following the December 5 floods. Julie Foley, area manager for the EA, said: “While damage to the gates at Denver doesn’t pose an immediate flood risk, the damage does compromise our ability to react quickly and protect people and property. “Therefore, the best course of action is to install a temporary fix to minimise risk.

This is just one example of emergency works taking place across East Anglia. We are continuing to work with our partners to recover from the tidal surge. “Once we have a clear understanding of what other repairs are needed we will prioritise the work, focusing on the defences which protect the most people and property ahead of February’s spring tides. “We need to understand what is economically justifiable and technically feasible for all locations, so that we can ensure that public money is spent wisely.” Earthmovers have been brought in to replenish the shingle banks between Snettisham and Heacham, where tonnes of material were washed away by the storm surge. Holiday homes behind the defences were evacuated as the storm approached, but there was little damage.

RSPB staff and volunteers have also been repairing the boardwalk at their Titchwell Marsh bird reserve, near Hunstanton, which was badly damaged along with one of the reserve’s hides.

Major work is under way at Hunstanton Sea Life Centre, which was also flooded during the storm. More than 3,000 fish and other creatures have been evacuated from the seafront attraction, which is expected to remain closed for some months.

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