Lowestoft prepares for second tidal surge in just over three years

Lings garage, Lowestoft. MD, Paul Barkshire outside the business.

Lings garage, Lowestoft. MD, Paul Barkshire outside the business. - Credit: Nick Butcher

Lowestoft businesses and residents are battening down the hatches and moving valuables to higher ground in preparation for the anticipated high tide this evening.

East Coast Cinema following the 2013 tidal surge.

East Coast Cinema following the 2013 tidal surge. - Credit: Nick Butcher

Lings Honda in Riverside Road was severely hit by the tidal surge in December 2013 and is preparing for the worst tonight.

Director Paul Barkshire said he had faith in the flood defences deployed by Waveney Norse but staff were moving vehicles to higher ground or off site entirely as an extra precaution.

He said: 'We are very encouraged by the flood defences that we currently have and the good news is that getting early warnings have been an absolute Godsend for us. We are now carrying out our action plan that we have been working on.

'The outstanding work in the mobilisation of the flood defences has really given us confidence that we shouldn't have a problem with our actual site or building.

Michael Hansell outside the building.

Michael Hansell outside the building. - Credit: Nick Butcher

'I have been very impressed so far. Let's hope and pray that we don't have to put them to use.'

East Coast Cinema in London Road South was another business hit by the 2013 flood.

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Owner Michael Hansell said: 'We have been through it before and we don't want to go through it again.

'We are closed tonight and will be getting our flood boards up. We are taking precautions and moving our low level equipment up to high places. We are doing everything we can. What else can we do. We hope and pray it isn't as bad as the one in December.'

Mr Hansell said it would be too dangerous to remain in the building tonight but he would be at home watching the news for updates.

He added: 'We had very little notification last time but things have been a lot better this time around. Everybody is a bit more aware to start with.'

The Joseph Conrad in Station Square is taking precautions after suffering flooding three years ago but will remain open unless it becomes necessary to close.

Manager Adie Fox said he had refused stock deliveries this morning as the pub's cellars had flooded during the last tidal surge.

He said he would be buying sandbags to protect the building and he hoped the new flood defences would work to protect Station Square.

He added: 'We are getting prepared and making sure we look after staff and customers. What more can we do?'

A number of businesses in Bevan Street East, including Beactive Mobility, were able to buy their own flood defences with money provided by the government following the 2013 tidal surge.

David Smith, managing director of Beactive Mobility, said: 'We are prepared hopefully.

'We had nothing last time apart form sandbags. It came higher than the sandbags because somebody nicked a few.

'We had £20,000 in lost stock but hopefully it will be OK this time.'

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