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Tidal surge 'devastation' averted by minutes

Giant waves on the seafront at Walcott near Great Yarmouth as East Anglia braced itself for flooding

Breaking Earth News

Great Britain
Parts of Eastern England escaped being washed away under a tidal wave of water by only eight inches.

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".

The brunt of the surge was born by the seaside village of Walcott, 20 miles north of Great Yarmouth, Norfolk, where conservatories were crushed, walls torn down and lawns ripped up.

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."
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