Breaking Earth News
The surge striking East Anglia and Kent missed the high tide by a matter of minutes, allowing flood defences to hold out.
The Environment Agency said if the waters had risen by a further eight inches, it would have caused "utter devastation".
As dire weather predictions yesterday evening warned of widespread destruction, an unprecedented operation spearheaded by the Environment Agency saw more than 1,000 people evacuated from their homes and the emergency services put on standby for a major disaster.A spokesman for the Met Office added: "The tidal surge was just behind the high tide and it wouldn't have taken it long to catch it up. Luckily they missed each other otherwise it would have been a very different situation. It wouldn't have taken much for things to have been a lot worse."
He added: "Research from our scientists suggests that tidal surges will become more common, from one every hundred years to one every ten."