Storm update: East coast battered by tidal surge

Sandbags to help protect one of our places on the Norfolk Coast © National Trust

Sandbags to help protect one of our places on the Norfolk Coast

Latest update 06.12.2013 17:49

Following last night’s tidal storm surge, our teams are now out and about assessing the damage, but it will take us some time to get a full picture of how our buildings, environment and wildlife fared, as some areas are still under water and more high tides are expected.


Update: 6 December, 2pm

Blakeney Point National Nature Reserve
The water levels are still extremely high and the team haven’t been able to get out onto the Point yet. However, where they can they are out and about and their priority is checking on the seal colony, which has been displaced from last nights floods. The team are liaising with the RSPCA and are strongly advising visitors not to approach any seals they find. Please do not disturb any seal pups, whose mothers will be waiting in the water to come inland to them.

Blakeney Freshes
The Blakeney Freshes are under water this morning, and some boats have been pulled from their moorings and scattered on to them and the coastal path.

Brancaster Activity Centre
18 inches of water surged into the ground floor last night and a big clean operation has now begun. The sterling effort by the team to raise as much as they could to higher ground yesterday has meant that lots of equipment has escaped damage.

The Guildhall in King's Lynn
The Guildhall cellar was flooded last night, which put the Undercroft restaurant under 6ft of water. The fire brigade were there all night (8 hours) pumping out the water and it is still under 6 inches of water. We're still assessing the damage.

Peckover House
It was a lucky escape for Peckover House on the North Brink at Wisbech. At 9pm last night the river, which runs past the front of the house, was about 2ft below the level of the new flood defence wall (good job it was built up in 2011!). Sandbags were added to North Brink when the walls of the river bank started to leak. But the team, the building and all of its contents escaped any damage and the waters receded.
Orford Ness National Nature Reserve
After being forced to evacuate the site yesterday, the team have managed to return today. The sheep were moved to safety in the armoury last night and have now all been moved to safer ground at Dunwich and Sutton Hoo. Kings Marsh is completely flooded, the airfield is extremely wet, and the defences at Stoney Ditch were breached in several places. The site office narrowly escaped flooding, with water lapping at the door. The office on Orford Quay was badly flooded yesterday and with a second extremely high tide predicted again today, the team have once again moved everything they can to higher ground and have been forced to leave the site. Conditions have been too bad for the team to be able to access and assess the situation at Lantern Marsh.

Dunwich Heath
The shingle and sand ridge has eroded and there is water between this and the clay bank that protects RSPB Minsmere. There doesn't look to be significant overtopping though and our rangers are currently inspecting the cliffs to see if we’ve had any erosion that could cause a risk of landslip.
Essex coast
The wall was overtopped in about 10 locations on Northey Island last night and the water reached within a foot of the house where our tenants live, but the house did not flood. We are concerned about the house boats and their owners at Pin Mill and so our rangers are out this morning checking on them. Although the tidal surge was obviously our greater concern last night there were also some very strong winds so the ranger team are also checking the woodlands for damage.

From the top of the mill, our ranger can still see quite a lot of flood water. We’re liaising with our tenants and the ‘Friends of Horsey seals’ to see what support they need. A large section of beach at Horsey Gap has been washed out to sea.

Elizabethan House Museum
The team are relieved. They got away reasonably lightly compared to some of Great Yarmouth, but will continue to monitor the situation for the next 24 hours.

So, our advice to visitors today is to stay away from the coast and we'll continue to update you as we know more.