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Fears as high tides forecast

PUBLISHED: 11:28 19 September 2001 | UPDATED: 10:33 03 March 2010

SEAFRONT businesses are battening down the hatches and bracing themselves this week for some of the highest tides of the autumn.

With weather forecasters predicting an onslaught of northerly winds, it is feared beaches at Felixstowe could be hit by further erosion and the prom damaged.

SEAFRONT businesses are battening down the hatches and bracing themselves this week for some of the highest tides of the autumn.

With weather forecasters predicting an onslaught of northerly winds, it is feared beaches at Felixstowe could be hit by further erosion and the prom damaged.

Overnight, the monthly rainfall for the area topped 2.9 inches – and the average for the whole of September is usually 1.9ins.

The forecast is for more rain, and Environment Agency workers have been closing the floodgates on the south seafront to stop seawater which might overtop the prom coming onto recreation land and threatening homes.

High tides at the weekend dumped tonnes of shingle onto the prom in Sea Road, and tractors were dispatched yesterday to clear the walkway and sweep the pebbles back onto the shore.

Heavy waves are expected to pound the coast all week and people with beach huts are being urged to make sure they are secure, and for boats tied up on the beach to be moved to a place of safety unless tethered securely.

Norman Thompson, secretary of the Felixstowe Pier Trust, said: "We have checked underneath the pier with an engineer and it is not a good situation – a lot of material has been lost and it is quite worrying.

"We are keeping a close eye on the tides this week. Felixstowe has seen a lot of erosion, especially around the new sea defences at Cobbold's Point, over the summer months and winter is usually our worst time for erosion.

"Everyone has the resort's interests at heart and this will be a tense time."

Erosion during the summer has seen tonnes of material washed away from Cobbold's Point and the East Beach, Undercliff Road East – all the material sprayed ashore 12 months ago to bolster the beaches has gone.

Council officials have put up red plastic fencing to keep people away from the edge of the prom and painted on the edge "Beware the drop" to warn people not to go too close. Signs have also been put up to warn visitors about the rapidly deteriorating groynes and the dangers of climbing on them.

Evening Star weather expert Ken Blowers today said there was a glimmer of hope for some sun at the weekend, but not before more rain.

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