Sea defences in towns hit by surge should be reviewed, report recommends

The tidal surge hit towns along the East Coast, including Scarborough pictured.
The tidal surge hit towns along the East Coast, including Scarborough pictured.
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SEA defences in towns worst affected by the tidal surge in January which ripped down Yorkshire’s East Coast are set to be reviewed.

Some streets in Hornsea were evacuated and three people were rescued after a car got trapped in floodwaters on the seafront on January 13.

In all, a dozen commercial and residential properties, were affected by flooding. Some businesses have still not reopened

The East Riding Council has carried out an investigation and are recommending measures, including a review of sea defences in Hornsea and Withernsea, as part of the current coastal study.

The surge caused by low pressure in the North Sea and a Spring tide, saw defences overtopped along the length of the coast.

At Tunstall, the earth defence was damaged, there was flooding in roads in Withersea and in Kilnsea waves overtopped onto land.

The surge took Hornsea by surprise as there was no specific flood warning on January 13, a report to the council’s Cabinet says. By the time a warning was issued at 5.11pm, the flooding was already taking place.

Another of the report’s recommendations is that the Environment Agency should review their flood warning system for tidal flooding along the coast and estuary.

Hornsea councillor Barbara Jefferson said there had been calls for higher sea defences from people on New Road, whose houses were flooded. But Coun Jefferson urged caution as holidaymakers coming to the town wanted to be able to see the sea.

She said: “I feel great sympathy for those that flooded - it must be horrendous. If they are going to raise the defences they are going to have put some kind of footway so you can see the sea. I am delighted East Riding Council have made recommendations - we need to consult and get on with them.”

The recommendations, to be discussed on Tuesday, also include pumping from Stream Dyke into the sea in Hornsea during times of high flows and very high tides; investigating the operation of the storm chamber in New Road and affected properties considering taking flood protection measures.