Search

‘We’re safe and still in our homes’: Sandstorm clean-up begins

PUBLISHED: 16:50 28 September 2020 | UPDATED: 09:46 29 September 2020

Sand left on the pavement after 70mph winds hit Walcott over the weekend. Picture: Abigail Nicholson

Sand left on the pavement after 70mph winds hit Walcott over the weekend. Picture: Abigail Nicholson

Archant

The clean-up operation has continued in a North Norfolk village which was blasted by a sandstorm and 70mph winds.

Member of Parliament for north Norfolk, Duncan Baker and chairwoman of Walcott Parish Council, Pauline Porter. Picture: Duncan BakerMember of Parliament for north Norfolk, Duncan Baker and chairwoman of Walcott Parish Council, Pauline Porter. Picture: Duncan Baker

On Saturday, people living in Walcott, woke up to find their village buried under feet of sand as gale force winds and torrential rain battered the county.

The bad weather combined with the highest sea level in 12 months led to sand from the Bacton to Walcott Sandscaping scheme, which was designed to provide essential protection to the area from flooding and coastal erosion, blowing on to roads and homes adjacent to the beach.

Now, as the clean-up operation continues and the cost of removing the sand is calculated, those living in the village has said they would much rather be clearing sand from their homes than facing the alternative of floods.

Pauline Porter, chairperson of Walcott Parish Council, said while the effects of the sandstorm looked dramatic it was much better than flood damage.

Sand covering Walcott after high winds swept it up over the sea wall. Picture: Danielle BoodenSand covering Walcott after high winds swept it up over the sea wall. Picture: Danielle Booden

She said: “We’re all extremely grateful that it wasn’t water because had that sand not been there we would have flooded. So it is what it is, it’s a bit of a mess.”

Ms Porter said while the village had experienced sandstorms in the past, the weekend’s storm was the worst it had seen in some time.

She said: “It’s the worst [sandstorm] we’ve ever had but we would rather have that than the sea come in and devastate the village. It’s going to take a lot less time to clean up.”

She said in the majority of cases the bad weather had just caused damage to fences and a few sheds which would need rebuilding.

Sand covering Walcott after high winds swept it up over the sea wall. Picture: Danielle BoodenSand covering Walcott after high winds swept it up over the sea wall. Picture: Danielle Booden

“We’re extremely grateful that we didn’t need to evacuate. If that sand hadn’t have been there [the sea] would have definitely had come in and we would have spent Christmas out of our homes again.

“We’re all safe and that’s main thing, we’re safe and we’re still in our homes,” she said.

A spokesperson for North Norfolk District Council said both the leader of the council and its coastal manager had visited Walcott on Monday to speak to residents and assess any damage caused by the sand storm.

A spokesperson for Norfolk County Council added: “Following a very busy weekend highways teams are continuing with the clean-up across the county.

Sand covering Walcott after high winds swept it up over the sea wall. Picture: Danielle BoodenSand covering Walcott after high winds swept it up over the sea wall. Picture: Danielle Booden

“The road at Walcott is clear and passable however there is a considerable amount of sand on the path which we expect to be able to clear by the end of Wednesday. The district council will then be able to send in a mechanical sweeper to remove any remaining sand.”


If you value what this story gives you, please consider supporting the Eastern Daily Press. Click the link in the orange box above for details.

Become a supporter

This newspaper has been a central part of community life for many years. Our industry faces testing times, which is why we're asking for your support. Every contribution will help us continue to produce local journalism that makes a measurable difference to our community.

Latest from the Eastern Daily Press