Felixstowe braced for another battering

FELIXSTOWE was today bracing itself for another battering from the sea after spectacular high tides wreaked havoc on the seafront - flooding gardens and smashing beach huts.

By Richard Cornwell

FELIXSTOWE was today bracing itself for another battering from the sea after spectacular high tides wreaked havoc on the seafront - flooding gardens and smashing beach huts.

About 30 chalets were ripped from their stands and jumbled together in the car park in Sea Road, with one smashed to pieces.

Waves slapped the edge of the prom, sending spray shooting 30ft into the air, and the water came across the prom and left gardens several inches deep in water with some water spilling into the road under floodgates.

Crowds of people gathered on the seafront to watch the sea at lunchtime yesterday, while Coastguards patrolled the seafront to give advice to people.

Most people heeded warnings and stayed in Sea Road behind the sea wall or watched from the top of the new ramp over the wall.

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A few people sat in shelters getting soaked or had to run from the waves as their vantage points were swamped.

Reader Mark Vertigans of Ipswich sent in his dramatic pictures of the flooding.

The whole of the East Anglia's seaboard is on Floodwatch alert with the equinoctial spring tides, which are a metre higher than last week, set to reach their peak about 1.20am tomorrow.

Today's high tide will be around 1.10pm. Winds are expected to remain northerly today, but then swing to north-easterlies tomorrow, which will keep the tides onshore.

Engineers will be keen to see the impact on the rock armour temporarily protecting the prom - contractors were working again at low tide to reinforce the wall.

Environment Agency officials said Floodwatch was the lowest of the warning levels but residents should keep an eye on the sea and be prepared to take action if flooding happens.

In between the high tides there are exceptional low tides - and there should be a good opportunity to see the seaweed-topped remains of the old Roman Walton Castle at The Dip, Old Felixstowe.

Homes in Norfolk had to be evacuated yesterday because of the threat of flooding. Around 3,000 people living between the two sea defences on the Norfolk coast between Snettisham and Hunstanton were advised to leave their homes as a precautionary measure between 4.14pm and 10.14pm and not return until it was safe to do so.

Are you worried about flooding? Write to Your Letters, Evening Star, 30 Lower Brook Street, Ipswich, IP4 1AN, or e-mail EveningStarLetters@eveningstar.co.uk

n. Watch video footage of the waves at www.eveningstar.co.uk

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