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Saturday, 7 December 2013

East Coast flooding in UK – December 2013

5 December 2013

Following a major storm surge – the worst since 1953, 1,400 homes have been flooded whilst thousands of people were forced to leave their homes.

Background - What happened in 1953?

VIDEO – Floods of 1953:

Exceptional weather conditions, coupled with an inability to warn people, meant that whole communities were unaware of the imminent threat from the devastating storm surge that saw many low lying areas of East Anglia and the Thames Estuary suffer severe flooding.

Met Office guide to 1953 east coast flood

What has been the legacy of the 1953 floods?

Causes in 2013:

What is a storm surge and how is it caused?

The Atlantic storm, which brought the coastal flooding and gale-force winds of up to 100mph, caused widespread disruption across the UK and claimed the lives of two men - in West Lothian, Scotland, and in Retford, Nottinghamshire.

The Environment Agency said 800,000 homes in England had been protected by flood defences and better forecasting had given people "vital time" to prepare.

The agency said sea levels had peaked at 5.8m (19ft) in Hull - the highest seen by the East Yorkshire city since 1953 - and 4.7m (15ft) in Dover, Kent, the highest recorded there in more than 100 years.

Preparing for the 2013 storm surge:

How the barrier works:

This graphic from the Environment Agency shows the extent of the flooding that would have occurred in London if the flood barrier had not been raised.

The Environment Agency estimates that 800,000 homes and businesses were saved due to flood defence schemes.

Impacts of December 2013 floods:

Thousands of people were evacuated from Britain's east coast of England.

1,400 homes were flooded, including 300 in Boston, Lincolnshire, according to Environment Agency (EA) figures.

Victims of the most serious tidal surge in 60 years have been warned to avoid direct contact with floodwater and beware of rats moving into homes.

More detail and pictures here:

VIDEO – Bungalow falls off cliff in Norfolk

VIDEO – Thousands evacuated:

VIDEO – Cleaning up after the floods:

VIDEO – Aerial footages of flood aftermath:

Sources: BBC News; The Met Office; BBC Weather; Mail Online; ITN

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