Flood alert: relief in Waveney

People in Lowestoft and Oulton Broad were reflecting on what could have been after major flood damage was avoided.Water levels rose dramatically, enticing hundreds of sightseers to the area, but there was widespread relief after the high tide came and went without significant incident.

People in Lowestoft and Oulton Broad were reflecting on what could have been after major flood damage was avoided.

Water levels rose dramatically, enticing hundreds of sightseers to the area, but there was widespread relief after the high tide came and went without significant incident.

People watching from Lowestoft promenade were sprayed with water as the waves crashed in, but the feared breach of sea defences did not happen.

Oulton Broad appeared to be under greater threat of major flooding, with roads closed and properties coming within a hair's breadth of being over-run by water.

But as the water levels subsidised, a relieved emergency response team was left counting its blessings following hours of preparing for the worst, which included the closure of many schools.

Chief Insp Paul Bradford, of Suffolk police, said: “We have had a lucky escape but we are not taking anything for granted and certainly not being complacent.”

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At Oulton Broad, paramedics and police evacuated 12 people from the Broadside residential home, in Commodore Road, as water flooded the road.

However, 78-year-old resident John Mouncey said: “The ambulance man came and said I had to move but I said I wasn't going to. Then the police came and I told him the same thing. I can't walk very well and I've been here 14 years so I wasn't going to move.”

Roger Cox, general manager of the Wherry Hotel, said: “We had waves in surges onto our car park but my cellars were not breached, which is where the power supply for the hotel is kept. That was my main concern.”

The water rose beyond the banks of Oulton Broad, but although it lapped up to the doors of several of the businesses on Nicholas Everitt Park, most suffered only superficial flood damage.

Paul Horsnell, licensee of the nearby Lady of the Lake pub, said: “We put sand bags on all the doors and lifted up everything we could off the floor. We've had some flooding in the toilets and water coming in at the top end of the pub, but nothing major.”

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