10 homes evacuated in Hemsby due to risk of coastal erosion
PUBLISHED: 10:45 18 March 2018 | UPDATED: 10:52 20 March 2018
A group of Hemsby residents are breathing a sigh relief this morning after their homes survived a devastating onslaught from fierce waves and high winds.
However, there remains serious danger of houses collapsing into the sea, with structures succumbing already.
Steve Williams, officer in charge for HM Coastguard Gorleston, said: “A shed fell into the sea this morning and an oil tanker was right on the edge. “Our team is on alert 24 hours of the day and more of us will be in Hemsby this evening in anticipation of high tide.”
All those living in properties on the sea side of The Marrams in Hemsby have now been evacuated after stormy conditions battered the coastline and ate away at the dunes beneath them.
Several metres of beach were swept away yesterday, before high tide arrived and the pummelling continued overnight.
With the aid of Great Yarmouth Borough Council and Norfolk County Council, residents have been relocated to alternative homes or hotels, with many based at The Grange in Ormesby.
One resident, who preferred not to be named, left his home yesterday but returned this morning.
He said: “I took all my sentimental belongings with me yesterday, but I’m looking to go in and get some more things later.
“I’m hoping the worst of it has passed; the fact my house survived the high tide is a positive sign.”
Police cordons are in place along the seafront while Hemsby Lifeboat and Coastguard teams remain on alert in case of emergency.
Sgt Julie Johnson, from Norfolk Police: “Our priority is obviously public safety and keeping people away from the area.
“We understand that people are interested, and we accept that, but they won’t be allowed near the scene because it is simply not safe.
“If we have people breaching cordons, it’s then going to put the agencies at risk who then potentially have to rescue them.”
The next high tide is due at around 9pm this evening.
Ten homes at risk from coastal erosion were evacuated in Hemsby on Saturday in a multi-agency response.
The village has been vulnerable to coastal erosion before.
In December 2013, devastated residents watched their cliff-top homes disappear into the sea during a tidal surge.
Five bungalows fell into the water as the high tide eroded the cliff below.
Only the patio doors and a rear window of one couple’s home were left standing as the home was torn in two.
Dozens of residents formed a human chain to help salvage the possessions of those affected.
• This story will be updated as further details emerge.