View Full Version : East Coast Floods

DX Wombat
5th Dec 2013, 18:38
The sea is already over the wall at Scarborough and the prediction is for the worst floods since 1953. (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/North_Sea_flood_of_1953) with a northerly surge predicted. All too similar to 1953. Let us all hope and pray that it doesn't reach that level again.
It was as a result of the flood in 1953 that RAYNET (http://www.raynet-uk.net/) came into being.

5th Dec 2013, 18:44
Newcastle Quayside (ten miles inland!) (http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-england-tyne-25231342) - and that's with the river level being low for more than a week - ie it's not water from inland - purely tidal surge.

5th Dec 2013, 20:15
Global Warmings fault.........................:E

5th Dec 2013, 20:19
Is this going to another one of those "cry wolf" storms? All this scaremongering is getting rather tedious - like there is nothing else going on in the world...

5th Dec 2013, 20:27
There's no doubt that the meeja just LOVES a good storm, especially on their own doorstep, so as to relate the many angles of how people are suffering/saving lives/lost property etc etc ad infinitum. That said the storm floods are pretty destructive and as we type the centre of Newcastle is underwaater as the Tyne has topped it's man made banks and the water damage will no doubt run into millions for the many businesses in the area. If the high tide tonight coincides with enough wind, then much of the east coast will be getting an unwelcome disruption that will affect many people's xmas plans.


tony draper
5th Dec 2013, 20:47
Long time since I wandered the Toon quayside but from what I remember of it most of the town center is a fair way uphill from the quayside.

5th Dec 2013, 22:32
That photo looks awful!

Bet that gorgeous little swing bridge alongside the Victorian elevated railway bridge is completely under water. What about the art works inside the former Baltic flour mill? Yikes!

There is a charming little pub/restaurant right down on waterside next to the swing bridge on the south side and that cannot be faring well. There's also that newish development all along the south right under the bridge near the Hilton--some flats, etc. Easily reached by a surge like this. As are those old buildings that hug the edge of the river on the other side.

Wonder if all that new river's edge development in the past few years was done with no surge research beforehand? Wow.

All the best to my fave folks there.

5th Dec 2013, 22:53
The water was about two feet deep alongside the Quayside - my mates were there having a break from the Tees Tyne Streak and had to flee Wetherspoons when the river came in the front door!

It would need to be another fifteen foot up to get anywhere near the swingbridge!

The streak - 60019 Bittern was running uder special dispensation and managed a 96mph max between Darlington and York.

flying lid
5th Dec 2013, 22:54
I once pissed over the railing of the Tyne Bridge, aiming for the funnel of the moored floating nightclub "The Tuxedo Princess" which we had just left !!

Many years ago.


5th Dec 2013, 22:59
There is a charming little pub/restaurant right down on waterside ....

A charming little Newcastle pub?

That's going in my list of oxymorons ;)

5th Dec 2013, 22:59
Long time since I wandered the Toon quayside but from what I remember of it most of the town center is a fair way uphill from the quayside

Apologies mr draper, one's meaning of centre was not the Bigg Market etc. No doubt there are a few sea lionesses floating/carousing around tonight despite the weather :}

Wonder if all that new river's edge development in the past few years was done with no surge research beforehand?

None, or as good as none. Short termism rules, money talks (or talked) and corrupt councillors, inept planning departments and just plain ignorance of how nature works have and will lead to flooding and damage on a large scale in many coastal and river centric towns and cities. It only takes a few centimetres of water height to cause serious flooding to hundreds, possible thousands of properties built on old flood plains.


6th Dec 2013, 01:04
Listening to the 10pm news on BBC Radio 4 you would not think that the weather was anything other than normal - not a single mention of anything but the death of Nelson Mandela

6th Dec 2013, 02:49
Yup - the UK has ceased to exist - OK - the death of Mandiba is to be commemmorated - but if you have had your roof blown off or your premises flooded out. I think you will have other things on your mind.

On the Richard Bacon moan in last week I tried to get on with a rant about Radio Five cutting out instantly to live speeches by people who weren't at the microphone, or who were spouting interminable rubbish - just because the lazy idle BBC producers think we want instant news.

What we want is decent production values - wherever they went - cue Muspost to respond eh?

Needless to say the researcher laughed and appreciated my point - They didn't ring me back!

And they wonder we moan at them!

6th Dec 2013, 06:48
Why isn't there a flood defences program in place here, seeing as the area is obviously low-lying and prone to flooding?
Even just having a large store of filled sandbags on standby, has to be better than just allowing the water to roll in, and then trying to clean up the mess afterwards.

6th Dec 2013, 07:17
When I bought my first house here I was warned by the Notaire that it was in the designated flood zone for the Durance river and I had to sign that I was aware of this. As the house was about 200' above the river level I queried this and she said that it didn't matter, it was still within the geographical boundary of the at risk area. I never lost much sleep over that.

6th Dec 2013, 08:06
The Environment Agency drew a parallel line along the river bank and declared it as a severe floodrisk zone - even though it meant that it included properties located many metres higher than anything other than a biblical catastrophe would reach.
I am above the extreme flood extent, but informed the EA that, for the flood to reach their severe flood extent it would be coming down my chimney.
They subsequently revised their zone to reflect the contours.

6th Dec 2013, 09:59
like there is nothing else going on in the world...

Prescient or what?

I bet all those roving reporters who'd braved the storm to have their two minutes of prime-time glory were well p*ssed off.

A A Gruntpuddock
6th Dec 2013, 10:54
Sandbags etc might stop the water coming through your doors but if the flood is high enough it will get into the drainage systems and come up through ground floor toilets.

6th Dec 2013, 11:22
not a single mention of anything but the death of Nelson Mandela

Worse still: they cut the last ten minutes of "Mrs Brown's Boys" on BBC TV to announce his death. If they had waited ten minutes they could have put it on the 22:00 news (and I would have seen Grandpa get whacked over the head with a saucepan).

6th Dec 2013, 11:29
it will get into the drainage systems and come up through ground floor toilets.

It is possible to build a flood-proof house (say, to deal with three foot of water for 48 hours outside your house) but it's a matter of how much you want to spend. Interestingly my last house in Germany, although not particularly at risk, had an automatic (ball valve) and manual (screw down valve) in the cellar sewer outlet. The house had been built around 1947 and when I discovered the valve was corroded out in the late 1980's I was able to purchase an identical replacement, same manufacturer. Only had water come up into the house once during extremely heavy rain for several days. But flooded cellars are a frequent occurence in Germany.

Lon More
6th Dec 2013, 11:29
they cut the last ten minutes of "Mrs Brown's Boys" on BBC TV to announce his death

To be fair, it was a repeat. Gives them a chance to repeat the repeat next Christmas.

6th Dec 2013, 11:31
The death of NM was not unexpected.

Sad though it is when a person 'passes on', NM had had more than his fair suck of the saveloy - which, no doubt, he deserved (as he achieved great change for his people).

I am in no way averse to celebrating his life but, even I am losing tolerance with the media over the wall-to-wall coverage to the exclusion of all other topics.

Whitby is this morning clearing up after suffering one of the worst town centre floods in its history.Whitby mopping up after night of floods - Whitby Gazette (http://www.whitbygazette.co.uk/news/local/whitby-mopping-up-after-night-of-floods-1-6299871)

BBC News - Tidal surge hits east UK coastal towns after storm (http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-25253080)

Lon More
6th Dec 2013, 11:42
Nowhere near as bad as 1953. The storms that year cost 1795 lives in the Netherlands. I remember the marks on the wall of one of the ex's aunts. Water to almost half way up the bedroom wall, and the house was built on a mound.

I would have though it was Mrs. NM that had been sucking the saveloy?

6th Dec 2013, 12:33
I guess if the weather gets really really bad in Newcstle, the girls who "gan clubbin'" will have bare midriff tanktops - with sleeves!! :eek:

6th Dec 2013, 12:40
In parts of Norfolk the surge was higher than the 1953 levels but better flood protection and forewarning greatly reduced the impact

6th Dec 2013, 12:42
I tuned into BBC 5 Live this morning to hear about the severe flooding.

All I heard for over an hour was Nelson Mandela. I'm the first to admit that this is somewhat newsworthy, but to the exclusion of all other news ?

I don't think that even the death of Maggy Thatcher was covered in so much detail.

Obviously the BBC had recorded obituaries all lined up for his expected death, no doubt a lot of time, money and editing went into producing these obituaries. Perhaps it would take a brave producer not to run with all this pre recorded stuff, but surely some discretion must be allowed in these circumstances to cover other major news events.

I have to say that I was very pissed off with the BBC hardly mentioning the sea flooding.

Political bias ? I'm not sure, but the Beeb seems to have to have 'lost the plot' once again.


dead pan said: " I bet all those roving reporters who'd braved the storm to have their two minutes of prime-time glory were well p*ssed off."

I couldn't agree more.

6th Dec 2013, 13:32
Yes, it was extremely selfish of NM to die exactly when he did, and take up all the media bandwidth, air-time, and to occupy an excessive number of pages in newspapers.
He could have chosen a more appropriate moment, when the news day was exceptionally slow, and the media were trawling through 5 yr old articles to republish as current news.
However, look at this way - it could have been a lot worse - he could have died right at the start of an FA Cup final, and no-one would have known he was dead for hours, maybe even days! :)

6th Dec 2013, 15:04
they cut the last ten minutes of "Mrs Brown's Boys" on BBC TV to announce his death

I was watching the Cold War subs prog on BBC2 when this ticker kept coming up about breaking news on BBC1. I flicked over in eager anticipation that the something like the Thames flood barrier had been overcome. I must it was a tad of an anti-climax.

6th Dec 2013, 15:47
BBC News - Norfolk floods: Seven Hemsby homes badly damaged by waves (http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-england-norfolk-25254808)

Oh - and BBC R5 went into a dedicated three hour programme about NM after having talked about nothing else all morning. Is that it now? :confused:

6th Dec 2013, 15:57
I made a decision first thing - I've had Radio 3 on all day. No mention of Mandela other than on the news bulletins, which is fair enough.

Can anyone, anywhere, honestly say, hand on heart, that they are actually grieving for a poor, sick old man of 95, who has finally been allowed to die?

RIP yes, but spare us the ballyhoo.

6th Dec 2013, 16:43
Having woken up in the morning after the 1953 flood at a school in Southwold and looked out over miles of sea where low-lying marshes had separated the town from Suffolk the day before, I've always had an interest in that flood.

The principal reason that it was perhaps wrong to suggest yesterday that conditions were similar then to 1953 is that, as I understand it, in 1953 the high Spring tide combined with a strong Northerly gale and very low pressure. It was the wind that drove the North Sea into the narrowing area towards the Straits of Dover. The tide and low pressure did the rest.

The wind being talked about yesterday was, if the BBC's charts were accurate, from approximately 270 to 325 degrees, and this would remove the wind as a contributing factor.

The forecasts of possible flooding were obviously right, but seemed to me to be somewhat overcooked. Has no-one who issues these warnings heard the expression "crying wolf"?

6th Dec 2013, 18:18
"crying wolf"

My sentiments exactly, as per post #4.

RIP yes, but spare us the ballyhoo.

For the first time in ages I flicked on RT this AM as I knew all the western channels would have wall-to-wall coverage. It made for quite a refreshing change, with their different take on world affairs.

It does beg the question how in touch all those broadcasters are with their audiences. Do they really think we're that interested in their retentive retrospectives? Surely a five minute slot on the news should be more than enough for an obituary on pretty much anyone regardless how worthy they were.

DX Wombat
6th Dec 2013, 18:27
I am just very happy to know that the terrible loss of life in 1953 has not been repeated.

Krystal n chips
6th Dec 2013, 18:39
" The forecasts of possible flooding were obviously right, but seemed to me to be somewhat overcooked. Has no-one who issues these warnings heard the expression "crying wolf"

Given the propensity of flooding in recent years, the warnings have a validity although the E.A appear to have a close link with the H.A at times with regard to ability as an organisation.

Thus whenever warnings are issued, there are times when you do get the impression that they are as much about P.R and self promotion as they are about potential threats.

Likewise, sadly, the Met.Office.

We now have "events", which is a nice term of course, and, flush from their success with predicting snow will fall on London !...given that it had to travel across half of Europe to get here, this wasn't that difficult....one would have thought ?......and the recent "Great Storm !"....again, not quite as "Great" as predicted, but the predictions got the media and the publics attention, then said wolf is far from an endangered species here in the UK.

Edited to add: "We can only concur" to DX's kind thoughts about the possible reprise of 1953

6th Dec 2013, 18:56
Here on the coast of Hellfire Corner, the flood map was drawn to reach the end of my road. That sounds about right. Growing up over the shop in the Hiigh Street, five minutes away from where I am now, we were accustomed to my father and other shopkeepers putting up their floodboards at the end of the day. Floods were relatively common, giving us a chance to use our new wellies. Firemen pumping out the cellar is another memory. Sea defences were beefed up, to some small effect, culminating very recently in some multi-million Euro concrete now gracing our seafront. Dear departed father spent the seventies wondering why building was going on at the north end of town and lamenting the demise of floodboards.

That the High Street was dry this morning will no doubt be attributed to these Euromillions, which will comfort those living on the lowest point at the end of town, in housing thrown up over the last thirty years.

6th Dec 2013, 22:34
DX Wombat

Has RAEN/RAYNET been called out and one needed to do anything this time? Although only 7 years old at the time, I remember sitting with my father in front of the HRO listening to G3ELZ taking distress calls from trawlers in the North Sea when Humber Radio went off the air........

Eight years later, I took my Morse Test there - in 1970, doing tests with 2 MHz SSB commercial maritime SSB, I told them that their transmitter was off frequency - and it was!

DX Wombat
6th Dec 2013, 23:14
Hi Radeng, I haven't heard that anyone needed to be called out as I think all routine comms networks remained intact. Like anyone else I would have been happy to do my bit had it been necessary. I have a less vivid memory of events as I am a little younger than you but I still remember hearing about the floods. Those were the days when Radio Amateurs were not supposed to pass on any messages at all - thank goodness so many did and it has now been taken up by what has become RAYNET/ RAEN. Dreadful as they were over here, The Netherlands were affected to a far worse degree. It's amazing how some things make such an impression that they remain with us for so many years. It was said on the news that the flooding in some areas has been far worse than in 1953 but, thank God, there have been no fatalities so some good came out of that disaster. The only casualties seem to have been several houses which fell into the sea - sad for the owners but buildings can be replaced, people cannot. I know there are people whinging about what they see as the Met Office crying wolf but I think they made the right call.
I love the bit about telling Humber Radio their transmitter was off frequency :)

Lon More
7th Dec 2013, 08:46
On the West Coast, Dumfries floods at least once a year.


They're still talking about doing something about it, as they have been for at least 50 years

Effluent Man
7th Dec 2013, 17:38
Had a visit from a hi-vis buffoon at 6pm thursday.Handed me a sheet telling me to evacuate.I pointed to the nameplate on the house."It says Hill House" I told him "The clue is in the name.We are three miles inland" "Ah" says he "But you are in Flood Zone 2".I pointed out that is because of the river plain and it isn't tidal.Exit Hi-vis in a strop.

wings folded
7th Dec 2013, 18:52
Has Norwich been moved to a location three miles inland? When I last looked, it was a bit further away.

I need to know to plan for future potential floods.

7th Dec 2013, 22:02
DX Wombat,

I was busy Thursday night.......

Should you have a passing interest in being bored for a time,

1) Go to BATC - Streaming Media (http://batc.tv/)
2) Click on the “Film Archive” icon near top left
3) Select “RSGBIET Meeting” from the Category drop down menu
4) Click on the “Select Category” button
5) Select the video required from the Stream drop down menu
6) Click on the “Select Stream” button
7) Click the play button or download from the link under the video


DX Wombat
8th Dec 2013, 00:12
Thank you, I was suitably bored rigid ;) I shall have to have another session listening and will probably save it for listening to in the future too. :ok:
I find that sort of historical (note spelling - historical, not hysterical) detail really interesting. There was plenty there which I had no idea about mainly because it has been superceded so isn't talked about very often. I really enjoyed that, it wasn't in the least bit boring, thank you. :D
When I did my 2E I had to build a piece of equipment. The club I was with at the time had some small, simple receivers intended for the purpose so I was given one to build during meetings (so there was no chance of cheating). The day came when it was finished. A battery was fitted, the long, long wire aerial was strung around the inside of the Scout Hut and it was switched on. I had had a bad cold during the previous week and was very deaf as a result so it was left to the person who had been instructing me to tune in and listen. It worked! From a Scout hut behind a tall building near the centre of Manchester, Zurich Volmet came through loud and clear. I was delighted - the more so when I was told "That's the first one of those we've had which has worked. :) I'm not particularly technically minded so would never end up inventing something useful, but I did enjoy building that little receiver and still have it. I must get it out again sometime.

8th Dec 2013, 11:50
An interesting article, especially the comments section from real people affected by the storm surges. As some have said, almost no mention of all the damage to hundreds of homes and businesses on the national news......

Floods: 'It was nature in the raw and there was nothing anyone could do' - Telegraph (http://www.telegraph.co.uk/topics/weather/10502772/Floods-It-was-nature-in-the-raw-and-there-was-nothing-anyone-could-do.html)


8th Dec 2013, 21:16
My grandmother later bought a cottage on the beach at Whitstable and the tide marks from the '53 flood were still on the wall, about 4' up on the main floor (which itself is elevated by a 5 ft cellar.)

In subsequent years there were two raises to the sea wall, altogether about seven or eight feet. It spoiled the view from the house and wasn't universally popular but I suspect the reason we are not hearing about multiple deaths from flooding this time is because of that.

The beach was in front of the previous sea wall which was an earth bank with a road along the top and built decades earlier after a previous bout of flooding.

According to the experts the South East coast is sinking a couple of inches a century and flood defenses around the Thames estuary are bottling up tidal surges so they can expect even higher surges in the future. A Westerly wind would have saved the area this time and building the wall even higher would be even more expensive and even more unpopular, however the houses haven't been damaged since '53 so it must be working to some extent.

8th Dec 2013, 22:03

Glad you liked it. Took me almost 4 weeks of work for that historical part.

DX Wombat
8th Dec 2013, 22:40
I did, and I'm not surprised it took that long it was so detailed, an excellent piece of work. I thought for a while that you had a rather miserable audience who didn't raise so much as a giggle at some of the amusing bits - until the Q&A session when I realised that they couldn't be heard. No vote of thanks though - that was a poor do, too interested in being the first to the tea trolley? The following is from the regular RAYNET news:

East Anglian Tidal Surge action
During the morning of Thursday the 5th of October many RAYNET Groups across Norfolk, Suffolk, Essex & Kent were placed on standby by either their local Emergency Planning personnel or by Adam Webster G1UAF, the RAYNET Zone 4 Co-coordinator.

The East Anglian groups were specifically asked to provide communications support for the Norfolk & Suffolk 4x4 Response organisation who had been activated by the Norfolk ALSAR group in order to support the county Fire and Rescue services.

RAYNET Groups bordering the areas at risk were asked to monitor the working frequencies of the active Groups to ensure they were kept clear of other traffic.

During the 5th and 6th December Trevor Groves G4KUJ, the Network's Director of External Liaison and head of the Emergency Planning Team took part in the regular Multi Agency Support Group (East) tele-conferences and was able to pass on information from the briefings by the Environment Agency, Met Office and the Category 1 and 2 Responders on the developing situation.
This information was shared with the active RAYNET groups across the region and the VSOs that are members of the East of England Voluntary Sector Group that Trevor currently chairs.

By the 17:00 on Friday the 6th the Environment Agency had decided that the threat of flooding on the following tides had receded and all groups confirmed that they had been stood down.

Adam, G1UAF, would like to thank all the Network, RSGB Groups and members across the region who responded to the requests for assistance and reports that it has been invaluable in building relationships across the differing groups and with external organisations.

What a great contrast with the events which started the formation of RAYNET/RAEN but such a welcome one.