High tides will test seafront

FAMILIES living on the coast are bracing themselves for the highest predicted tides for 20 years this weekend, which will provide the first major test for Felixstowe's makeshift sea defences.

FAMILIES living on the coast are bracing themselves for the highest predicted tides for 20 years this weekend, which will provide the first major test for Felixstowe's makeshift sea defences.

Indications so far are that there should be no problems as Met Office experts said the forecast is for high pressure to be settled over the country. While winds will be easterly, they are not expected to be strong or gale force.

Engineers have already warned the thousands of tons of rock put in place to protect the prom after beaches dropped dramatically is only a “sticking plaster” and will not last the winter, and £6 million of permanent work is needed.

The high tides are expected on Saturday, Sunday and Monday, at between midnight and 2am and again in the early afternoons.

A spokeswoman for the Environment Agency said officers were liaising closely with the Met Office but did not expect to be issuing flood warnings for the Felixstowe coast.

She said: “At this time the indications are that there will be no problems at all. Although the tides will be high, they will only be slightly higher than normal for this time of the year - only four centimetres higher than spring tides.”

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Suffolk Coastal council has also said people in Felixstowe should not be seriously concerned by the predictions and it was “extremely unlikely” the higher tides would coincide with a severe surge.

Deputy leader Andy Smith said: “Despite that, of course we remain concerned in the slightly longer term to get the defences in place in Felixstowe against the really severe events, which are always a possibility at almost any time, although most likely by far in the January to March period.

“We are currently working out what more needs to be done on the temporary work to get us through the next winter, or possibly two, with safety, in case we still cannot get the funds from Defra for the main scheme.”

The emergency works this summer to place more than 3,800 of rock placed along 350 metres of shore in Sea Road after the prom started to collapse cost around £364,000.

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

WEBLINK: www.environment-agency.gov.uk

www.pol.ac.uk/ntslf/tides

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