Watch kept on coast as high tides loom

COASTAL engineers are keeping a close eye on the county's coastline with more high tides expected this weekend.But with high pressure set to take charge over the next few days, weather forecasters say they are not expecting a repeat of the sea surge which caused havoc in parts of Suffolk two weeks ago.

COASTAL engineers are keeping a close eye on the county's coastline with more high tides expected this weekend.

But with high pressure set to take charge over the next few days, weather forecasters said they are not expecting a repeat of the sea surge which caused havoc in parts of Suffolk two weeks ago.

Winds though are set to swing round to the north and that could mean some spectacular seas.

An icy blast from the north is expected to hit Suffolk towards the weekend - and some weather experts are warning that the county could see its first white stuff of the winter.


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The wind is expected to turn from the north tomorrow, and forecasters at the government's meteorological office have warned that with temperatures likely to be less than six degrees celsius, sleet showers are possible.

Other forecasters warn that snow could be on the way early next week - although the forecasts tend to be less reliable the longer they look into the future.

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The last week has been very wet, giving gardens a good soaking and helping to replenish groundwater supplies - September and October had been relatively dry months this year.

Met office experts have predicted that the winter as a whole will be colder and drier than last winter - which was exceptionally mild and wet.

However it is still likely to be milder than average over the 35 years.

At the moment meteorologists are undecided over the exact course of the wind - some saying north-east and others north-west.

At Felixstowe the difference could be crucial. North-westerlies hold back the waves, while north-easterlies push them onto shore.

High tide tomorrow is 9.40am and 10.25pm, Saturday at 10.38am and 11.14pm, Sunday 11.30am and midnight, and Monday November 26 12.20pm.

The sea surge a fortnight ago caused few problems at Felixstowe - passing before the high tide with north-westerly winds keeping the sea at bay. Gardens were flooded again though and there was some damage to the prom.

The situation had been much worse in September when a switch in the wind from north to north-easterly drove the waves onto the beaches at the southern part of the resort, smashing onto the edge of the prom, shooting spray 30ft into the air, and sweeping across the walkway to flood gardens to around three feet deep.

As onlookers watched in amazement, the sea kept on coming - and even spilled over the sea wall into Sea Road, leaving the pavement down the seaward side several inches deep in water.

Huge chunks of the concrete prom near Manor End were broken, lifted and moved, coping stones knocked off walls and beach huts jostled together.

Councillors who have been monitoring the situation hope the current temporary rock defences will only have to last this winter.

Hopes are high that an £11 million scheme to protect 1,600 homes, businesses and the port with new rock groynes and beach replenishment can go ahead next summer - and the council hopes to hear in the next few weeks if government is to grant funding.

If the cash is agreed, it is hoped tenders for the contract will be sought in January and work begin April or May.

Do you think Felixstowe's sea defences will last the winter? Write to Your Letters, Evening Star, 30 Lower Brook Street, Ipswich, IP4 1AN, or e-mail EveningStarLetters@eveningstar.co.uk

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