Image: People wading through floodwater at Brightlingsea
The Essex coast was on flood alert Sunday night after a FREAK TIDE engulfed a popular waterfront, completely swamping a number of cars. The surge happened at Brightlingsea at around noon when a spring tide led to the sea rising over the town's hard and as far up as the Waterside fish and chip restaurant. In Suffolk and Norfolk the tide breached sea walls and coastguards were warning last night that a further tidal surge was expected at about midnight. Environment Agency workers had been to Brightlingsea earlier in the day yesterday handing out sandbags to the fish and chip shop. Predictions of an UNUSUALLY HIGH TIDE had not reached members of the Brentwood Sea Angling Club who had chartered a boat for a day's fishing. The three members who drove themselves and other members to meet the boat at 8am parked their cars next to the hard and were only told about the tidal surge when they were out at sea and it had already happened. “We didn't know there was going to be an excessively high tide and left our cars here. The boat's skipper got a call from one of his colleagues and he asked where we had parked our cars and when we said 'along the front' he told us the water had come excessively high.” The cars are believed to be written off after being swamped by sea water. The FREAK tide was due to a combination of an astrological high tide, a surge along the North Sea and slightly windy conditions. Essex, Suffolk and Norfolk were all the subject of flood watches, which meant flooding of low lying land and roads was expected but was not as serious as a flood warning or a severe flood warning.
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