King’s Lynn: Video - Bridge across the Ouse at St Germans can re-open after inspection by engineers
15:42 06 December 2013
Engineers have now inspected the bridge across the Ouse at St Germans, and say it can re-open after all.
Norfolk County Council said it was originally feared that the bridge had suffered serious damage. But this afternoon, engineers said it would re-open.
At the height of last night’s high tide, the flood water came within a foot or so of topping the walls which protect houses along Lynn Road, many of which are below the high water mark.
A large boat broke free from its moorings and collided with the bridge, while water began pouring out of large cracks which appeared at either end and a hole in the pavement.
Villager Ros Bridges, 54, who lives in Orchard Road, watched the river levels rising.
“My husband’s lived in the village all his life and it’s the highest he’s ever seen,” she said. “It got to the point where we were 15 minutes from moving to higher ground and picking up my mum, who’s 87.
“It’s got severe damage to the expansion joints, water was coming through and there’s damage to the pavement on the other side.” Mrs Bridges said people living around the bridge were not warned about the likely height of the flood water. A warning siren which stood next to the bridge was taken down some years ago, when sirens were replaced with text message alerts.
“The water was oozing out of the expansion joints and at the bottom,” said parish councillor David Wakefield. “It was very worrying.”
Retired GP Dr Beryl Duncan said the water came within a foot of the top of the wall. She said water came through the wall running along her house, near the Middle Level channel, because holes had been left after shuttering was removed.