High tide concern played down

RESIDENTS living on Felixstowe seafront today have their fingers crossed that high tides predicted for October will pass off as quietly as they did this month.

RESIDENTS living on Felixstowe seafront today have their fingers crossed that high tides predicted for October will pass off as quietly as they did this month.

Experts have promised they will be monitoring the weather to try to forecast any flooding and say there will be no danger unless the winds turn north-easterly.

It was said the tides of two weeks ago would be 1.6metres lower than the promenade, but on both days the sea swept onto the walkway at both Sea Road and Undercliff Road East. For several hours waves slapped the edge of the prom and sent spray shooting high into the air. However, no flood warnings were necessary and no damage was caused or defences breached.

The tides were said to be the higher than any predicted for the past 20 years, though in the next 14 years there are set to be even higher tides - with the record likely to be broken eight times, depending on conditions.

The tides between October 7 and 10 are expected to be slightly lower than this month.

A spokesman for Suffolk Coastal District Council said they would be only four centimetres higher than the same time last year and should be well below the prom and 2.7m lower than the Environment Agency's flood wall in the south of the resort.

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He said: “Neither the council or the Environment Agency are expecting any problems with these 'spring' tides.

“There is a big difference between what are the highest predicted tides - which are the figures you find on tide timetables - and what are the highest actual tides.

“We are only likely to experience problems if the high tides happen at the same time as strong north-easterly winds which can produce high waves, coupled with tidal surges which can reach a metre or more above the normal tide height.

“If these occur, the council, the Environment Agency and the Emergency Services will initiate tried and tested Flood Incident Management procedures.”

Floodgates along the seafront will be closed throughout the period of the predicted high tides to reassure residents.

The main area of concern in Felixstowe is the southern part of the resort where temporary sea defences have been put in place until the government is able to fund a permanent scheme.

Engineers say the rocks put in place are only a “sticking plaster” and may not last the winter.

WEBLINKS:

www.suffolkcoastal.gov.uk

www.environment-agency.gov.uk

Are you worried by the prospect of high tides? Write to Your Letters, Evening Star, 30 Lower Brook Street, Ipswich, IP4 1AN, or e-mail EveningStarLetters@eveningstar.co.uk

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