Norfolk’s 999 teams given first alert over possible storm surge

Tidal surge at Cromer pier on Friday 6th December 2013

Tidal surge at Cromer pier on Friday 6th December 2013 - Credit: citizenside.com

Emergency planners across the region are today tracking a developing low-pressure system which might threaten a potentially-damaging tidal surge.

The Environment Agency last night sent out first precautionary messages to 999 teams, including fire services of Norfolk, Suffolk and Cambridgeshire.

The EA team, which proved a hugely-effective warning service in the devastating tidal surge of 2013, was responding to a Met Office report of potential dangers to coastal communities between Tuesday and Thursday.

The low pressure system has a potential to cause storm surges in the east/south-east region.

There is no official warning at the moment but a spokeswoman for the EA said officials were monitoring the situation, adding: 'We are keeping an eye on the forecast at the moment.'

She added there had been some checking of flood defences and discussions with local authorities.

Our emergency services are aware of the potential for difficulties – cascading the news to other groups including councils and flood wardens.

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After this week's windy weather the EA is also warning of possible saltwater incursions in the Norfolk and Suffolk Broads this weekend.

Anyone seeing fish in distress is asked to call the Environment Agency hotline on 0800 807060.

It was nearly two years ago, on December 5-6, 2013, that conditions conspired to see East Anglia's biggest storm surge for 60 years.

It was a triple whammy of the year's highest tide, waves whipped up by a deep low-pressure system and a northerly gale.

Hundreds of houses and businesses were flooded, and cherished homes were lost.

The EA was left with a £10m clear-up bill and 130 projects to complete to get the barriers back to where they were before the surge. And in the aftermath of the surge, the community rallied round to help.

The EDP launched a flood appeal to help raise much-needed funds to help the many people and businesses which suffered as a direct result of the storm surge. Over a six-month period the appeal raised more than £330,000. Donations were put to speedy use in the vital period soon after the damage, with money spent within hours.

Thanks to the appeal, hundreds of people and businesses in communities right around our coastline were helped.

Do you have a story about coastal defences in your area? Email newsdesk@archant.co.uk