PHOTO GALLERY: WALCOTT FLOODS: Dunkirk spirit among residents as they rebuild their community
11:29 07 December 2013
Archant Norfolk 2013
Residents, business owners and an army of volunteers are mucking in together to help rebuild Walcott after it was devastated by floods.
Scores of people lined the main street through the village today as they shovelled sand off the pavements and hosed down driveways and floors.
Dozens of properties were ruined by the storm surge, which swept into the coastal community on Thursday.
The fierce waves smashed walls, destroyed conservatories, flattened fencing and tossed caravans off their fixings.
People from 13 homes have already been moved into emergency accommodation and more came forward for help this morning at a meeting, chaired by council bosses.
Dozens of residents turned out for support, advice and to ask questions at the hastily arranged meeting, led by chiefs from the district and county council and North Norfolk MP Norman Lamb.
Among those seeking emergency accommodation was Wes Woods and his partner Helen Robinson, whose beach front static home and outbuildings were completely destroyed by rising tides.
Mr Woods, 35, said: “We’ve lost everything; our business, our livelihoods. The kids bedrooms took it worst, one of them has only got their school uniform left.
“We’ve been staying on a friend’s floor, the kids are in different places. The whole family is apart.”
Amongst the devastation however, residents have been pulling together to help each other out.
Trish McCarthy, owner of Walcott Caravan and Chalet Park, said people she had never met before had steeped in to help with the clear up and she had been offered “everything” from food and clothes to holidays.
“The village is like that anyway because it’s a small little village, people are really, really good,” she added. “I don’t know half of these people, they just turned up to help.
“Some woman drove past, came back with a shovel and started clearing up.”
Workers from North Norfolk District Council are sweeping 23 miles of coastline to assess the damage and coordinate the emergency response.
Angie Fitch-Tillett, cabinet member for coastal management, said the council was facing a “mammoth task” as the clear up got under way.