“We feel like a forgotten community” - Flood threatened Walcott residents fear for future

Sand and debris washed up on the path at Walcott. Picture: Ian Burt

Sand and debris washed up on the path at Walcott. Picture: Ian Burt - Credit: Ian Burt

Residents in a flood threatened coastal village say they feel like a 'forgotten community.'

Scenes in Walcott after Friday nights high tide. Picture: Ian Burt

Scenes in Walcott after Friday nights high tide. Picture: Ian Burt - Credit: Ian Burt

Walcott escaped the worst ravages of the storm surge on Friday as wind and waves battered the Norfolk coast.

But many evacuees spent an uncertain night not knowing the fate of their vulnerable homes. Fortunately for most there was no repeat of the 2013 tidal surge which flooded scores of houses in the village.

Dave Fowler and his wife Lorraine were among dozens of residents to take refuge at The Lighthouse Inn before being transferred to the evacuation centre at Stalham High School.

The couple had to move out of their bungalow on The Cedars for four months after it was flooded in 2013.

Walcott faces the high tides, strong winds and tidal surge as the sea closes the main road and local

Walcott faces the high tides, strong winds and tidal surge as the sea closes the main road and local residents take shelter in The Lighthouse Inn public house. Flooding in the car park of the Poachers Pocket. Photo by Simon Finlay - Credit: Must credit Simon Finlay Photography


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Mrs Fowler, 57, said: 'I remember looking round each room and thinking this could be the last time we see it like this.

'We had hours without sleep worrying about what we could be coming back to and if our house would be underwater. Walcott feels like a forgotten community -the focus always seem to be on places like Cley and Blakeney when we are impacted worst.'

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Retired engineer Mr Fowler, 67, added: 'We came here for a better life, but can't go through this anymore, it makes you feel sick in your stomach. We escaped this time, but who knows what will happen next.'

Former police officer Colin Mead and his wife Sue have been left with health problems after their home flooded four years ago.

Residents who live in The Cedars at Walcott had to evaucate their homes during Friday's storm surge.

Residents who live in The Cedars at Walcott had to evaucate their homes during Friday's storm surge. Picture: MILES JERMY - Credit: Archant

Mrs Mead said: 'The flooding made me ill, I suffer with ME and depression and worry all the time that it is going to happen again. The situation is not going to get any better unless more is done is to improve the sea defences.'

Jan Ellis, who works at Flegg High School as a teaching assistant, said: 'I sometimes lie in bed and listen to the sea and imagine it is going to wash us away.

'I love living by the coast, but dread the winter and the spring tides. How much can you take before you break - if we got flooded again I would never come back.'

Terry Ives, who lives in the village with wife Nora, praised the support given by the community and Walcott Emergency Volunteer Association members.

'The community and local organisations round here are brilliant, we just feel everyone else is against us.

'After our house flooded you cannot settle down and relax and we don't call this a home anymore.'

North Norfolk District Council Walcott ward councillor Lee Walker spent the evening with evacuees at The Lighthouse Inn.

'Extra drains helped remove the flooding from the Coast Road and there was just silt there on Saturday,' said Ms Walker.

'The emergency volunteers are amazing, they had about two hours sleep on Friday and were back helping people the next morning.

'More needs to be done to address the problem of coastal flooding. There has to be some joined up thinking, and a proper strategy rather than sticking plaster solutions.'

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