Bosses of Hunstanton’s Sea Life Sanctuary have admitted they still do not know the full extent of the damage caused by last week’s tidal surge.
Staff have now begun to assess the extent of the rebuild that will be needed, after a massive operation to evacuate all of the centre’s surviving animals, over 3,000 of them, was completed.
Nigel Croasdale, the centre’s general manager, said: “Obviously we’re still calculating the cost and planning the restoration.
“But we clearly have many weeks, probably months, of hard work ahead of us before we can contemplate bringing our fish and animals back.”
As first reported in the Lynn News on Tuesday, more than 3,000 creatures which were housed in the sanctuary had to be evacuated to temporary homes across the country in the wake of the storm.
More than 20 fish also died because of a loss of power to vital systems after the waves broke through.
Officials say that salt deposits found on the centre’s seal recovery pools showed the flood waters were up to waist deep at their peak.
Among the areas particularly badly affected were the otter enclosure, where a large viewing window was broken off its seals, and the rayfish display area, which was lifted off its moorings. It is also feared that much of the timber used in the building’s construction will have to be replaced.