Lowestoft recovers from tidal surge

The clean up in St John's Road The clean up in St John's Road

Tuesday, December 10, 2013
6:30 AM

Residents of Lowestoft faced the heart breaking task yesterday of disposing off their possessions that had been ruined in last week’s tidal surge.

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Residents of St Johns Road, LowestoftResidents of St Johns Road, Lowestoft

People in St John’s Road could be seen handing over ruined televisions, pieces of furniture and other pieces of household equipment to workmen from Waveney Norse operating a refuse lorry.

The workmen were acting on behalf of Waveney District Council’s plan to help residents to begin to rebuild their lives which had been affected by Thursday’s deluge.

Amy and Darryl Judge, who have a two-year-old son, were throwing away everything that had been damaged on the ground floor of their home as several feet of water poured in to the property.

Mrs Judge, 30, and who has temporarily moved to a relatives’ home on the Whitton estate, said; “I suppose you just have to get on with things. “Rather than worrying too much about what we have lost, we have been helping others in the street who are in the same position as us.

“We are all just grateful that no one was hurt.”

Patrician Gleeson, 55, also saw the ground floor of her home ruined.

She said: “Obviously I am devastated by what has happened. It is unbelievable to see how much damage was caused.”

As well as St John’s Road Wavney Norse is collecting ruined items from properties in Lowestoft’s Station Square, in Oulton Broad and at Ferry Road in Southwold.

Stuart Mortimer is an operations manager at Waveney Norse and said the scenes after the floods were the worse he had seen in Lowestoft in the 25 years he had been there.

He said: “We are here today for the residents affected by the tidal surge. I am hoping they are appreciative of what we are doing to help them.

“It is certainly not a nice thing that has happened to them, so close to Christmas as well.”

In another sign of how Lowestoft is overcoming adversity a restaurant has come up with a novel replacement for its water damaged carpet.

Daisy’s restaurant in Station Square has ripped out its soggy floor covering and has spread straw in its place.

The business, which only opened in July, was flooded under almost two feet of water during the high tide on Thursday.

Owner Richard Pye and his staff worked throughout Friday to clean-up the premises and the restaurant reopened for dinner on Saturday.

Mr Pye, who trained at Lowestoft College and has previously worked as a head chef at The Crown in Southwold and the Ivy House Country Hotel in Lowestoft, said the estimated cost of the damage was between £6,000 and £8,000.

He said: “I just wanted to get open as quickly as possible.

“All my ingredients are locally sourced so I felt I could use anything related to farms.

“Everybody has been really nice and positive about it.

“Somebody said it was like being in a Nativity and people keep asking where are the animals.”

A number of businesses in Station Square were affected by the tidal surge, with many still closed yesterday.

Although open again to customers, the JD Wetherspoon’s pub the Joseph Conrad lost thousands of pounds worth of stock when the ground floor and cellar flooded.

At least 500,000 litres of water were pumped out of the cellar by 11 tankers and there is still more to remove.

Southwold-based brewer Adnams has stepped in to help by providing equipment and advice to enable the pub to sell a choice of 16 real ales from a stillage behind the bar.

The Joseph Conrad will close for a week in January so water damaged woodwork and plasterboard to be replaced. Anyone wanting advice on disposing of larger items and materials damaged by flooding can call Waveney Norse on 01502 527100.


  • @David Ellis - I wasn't criticizing Waveney Norse. I should think that dealing with flooding is probably outside their normal contractual arrangements and that they would need to receive specific instructions from WDC for events like this. I agree with your point about The Joseph Conrad though. It has really improved the appearance and liveliness of that very bleak corner of Station Square. I had hoped that it might prove to be a key business in the long-overdue regeneration and repair of the buildings in this area, but following the flooding I can see that might no longer be the case.

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    point du jour

    Saturday, December 14, 2013

  • Jaydee is right. It is a pity that WDC was unable to assist the residents of St John's Road earlier, especially since this event had been forecast for several days. It is likely that sandbags would not have provided sufficient protection in this instance, but there weren't any. This area was badly affected in the 1953 floods and as far as I know there has been no serious attempt at flood protection since - no sea wall on the quay, nothing. Waveney Norse send a refuse lorry several days after the event and, er, that's it ................

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    point du jour

    Tuesday, December 10, 2013

  • Whilst I understand peoples' frustrations about the damage and the distress caused by the floods, I cannot really understand the criticisms of Waveney Norse here. Waveney Norse are a business (working for the council and financed by the council tax) so why should a business be expected to provide services free of charge in times of trouble? I expect they are doing all they can afford to do under the difficult circumstances, given the cost has to be paid for somehow. I do however agree with the lack of sandbags being a big disappointment...given that other councils in the region were set-up to provide these to properties at risk. Finally, regarding the pub...given that the whole of the centre of town is a flood risk area, what would you expect the 'WDC numpties' to do...leave the town centre empty of any businesses at all? The whole station square area looks a far nicer sight now than it did before, and it is good to see money being invested into the town centre at long last.

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    David Ellis

    Friday, December 13, 2013

  • The 'planners' gave permission for a pub with cellars to be opened right in the middle of an area that has been flooded on numerous occassions. Sounds about right for the WDC numpties.

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    kevin bacon

    Tuesday, December 10, 2013

  • So Stuart Mortimer is hoping the people washed out of house and home are 'appreciative', eh? How arrogant! Does he expect these poor people to bow down and kow-tow just because Waveney Norse are doing what is expected from them in times of trouble?

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    Tuesday, December 10, 2013

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