Public in Great Yarmouth urged to return sandbags or store them

Great Yarmouth residents filling sandbags on Nelson Road North ahead of the high tide on Friday 13th

Great Yarmouth residents filling sandbags on Nelson Road North ahead of the high tide on Friday 13th January 2017. Picture: ANTONY KELLY - Credit: Archant

The public has been asked to return sandbags that were handed out on Friday as part of preparations for the tidal surge.

As part of the multi-agency emergency response, the borough council handed out 32,000 sandbags and 350 tonnes of sand from locations in Gorleston, Cobholm, Yarmouth and Runham.

While there was ultimately no significant flooding, the borough council and other agencies worked closely together to ensure that thousands of people were kept safe and informed throughout the emergency.

The borough council is now leading the recovery operation, with a recovery plan in place.

As part of this, residents and businesses who obtained sandbags are asked to kindly return them to one of three official sandbag depots at their earliest convenience.

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Sandbags can be taken to:

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• North River Road/Runham Road at Runham Vauxhall

• Brush Quay in Gorleston

• South Quay opposite Friars Lane

Residents are asked not to put sandbags in wheelie bins or to leave their sandbags unattended; the bags can deteriorate if left in the open and if sand escapes, this can lead to blocked drains. If residents wish to keep bags, they should move them onto their property, off the footpath, and ensure they are not stored in the open.

In a joint statement, Cllrs Graham Plant, Kay Grey, Trevor Wainwright and Adrian Myers, said: 'Last week, all agencies, including the borough council, worked together effectively to put into action a well-rehearsed emergency response plan, which helped to ensure the safety of the public in the face of the severe flood warning issued by the Environment Agency.

'The borough council is now leading on the important recovery phase, with initial efforts focussing on assessing the damage caused and deciding next steps. The indications are that while there is some isolated debris and coastal erosion, the overall impact is fortunately not as severe as it might have been.

'From the overwhelmingly positive comments received via social media and other sources, it is clear that the borough council's efforts, including offering the sandbags, were much appreciated by residents, businesses and key partners. Now we are asking those residents and businesses to help in the recovery by returning the sandbags to one of the three depots as soon as possible.'

Storm impact

The precise impact of the tidal surge upon the borough is still being assessed. While there was some seepage by the riverside, no reports have been received of flooding at any premises in Great Yarmouth or Gorleston. The Environment Agency is assessing the flood defences but initial indications are that there has been no significant damage.

Council officers are assessing the impact to the borough's beaches, including the nature and extent of debris. Initial indications are that the beaches have held up well, and increased in height in most locations. At Hemsby, there has been further slippage of the dune system, though not as great as originally feared, and the borough council will continue to monitor the situation.

At North Quay, the borough council is clearing up some river sediment which has been washed onto the banks in the publicly-accessible areas.

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