Plaques unveiled on King’s Lynn waterfront to mark tidal surge anniversary

Henry Bellingham MP unveiled the tidal surge anniversary plaques on Friday. From left: Henry Bellingham MP, Brian Long (Deputy Leader of Council and Cabinet Member for the Environment), Julie Foley (Environment Agency Area Manager for Cambridgeshire and Bedfordshire), and Nick Daubney the Leader of the Borough Council. ANL-140512-151659009
Henry Bellingham MP unveiled the tidal surge anniversary plaques on Friday. From left: Henry Bellingham MP, Brian Long (Deputy Leader of Council and Cabinet Member for the Environment), Julie Foley (Environment Agency Area Manager for Cambridgeshire and Bedfordshire), and Nick Daubney the Leader of the Borough Council. ANL-140512-151659009
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A series of plaques marking the height of flood waters in Lynn during last December’s tidal surge has been unveiled to mark the first anniversary of the emergency.

Five markers were revealed on King Staithe Lane, near the Bank House, Purfleet Place, King Staithe Square, Marriott’s Warehouse and the Millfleet Tidal Barrier during a ceremony on Friday.

The plaques indicate the height of the surge which was the biggest ever to hit West Norfolk, surpassing even the disaster of 1953.

North West Norfolk MP Henry Bellingham, who unveiled the first plaque, said: “The tidal surge that struck on the 5 December 2013 was incredibly powerful, and tested our defences to the limit.

“Thankfully they all held up, thus totally vindicating all the investment and commitment on the part of the Environment Agency, the Borough Council and other bodies.

“It’s fitting and appropriate that, one year on, we should be marking this important event.”

West Norfolk Council leader Nick Daubney added: “We have arranged for these plaques to be installed as a reminder of the need for us all to be aware of the flood risk in this area and to put in place the necessary precautionary measures and plans.”

During the event, Environment Agency officials demonstrated some of the work that has been carried out since the surge to ensure that Lynn’s defences can withstand future threats.

The agency has spent £1.2 million on refurbishing Lynn’s flood gates, which officials say will ensure they can go on protecting the town for another 40 years.

The surge was the first time that the town’s current defences, which were installed in the 1980s, were tested to their full capacity.

And Julie Foley, the agency’s area manager, said: “A lot of hard work and some significant investment has followed throughout this recovery period. Damage has been repaired and the defences provide a good standard of protection against future surge tides.

“We are spending £3 million repairing and refurbishing defences along the coastline between King’s Lynn and Hunstanton and the Tidal River Embankments. This will protect 11,000 properties from flooding.”