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Flood threat recedes; tidal surge less than expected

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Flood threat recedes; tidal surge less than expected


Britain appears to have escaped the major flooding predicted from a tidal surge in the North Sea. Sea defences have been breached in some areas of Norfolk, which was expected to bear the brunt of the storm front, but not on the scale which was feared.

7,500 homes in the region were evacuated before high tide as people remembered the tidal surge of 1953 in which 307 locals died. The difference in the sea level now, as opposed to then, is just 50 centimetres, but that has been enough to avert disaster.

Britain’s eastern counties, and the capital, remain on alert, as does the entire Dutch coast. Rotterdam port is closed as its new storm surge barrier has been put to use for the first time ever.

The sea level is reported to be nearly three metres higher than normal. The Oosterschelde barrier in the south of the country is also raised and Dutch residents have been shoring up their defences just in case. The Netherlands suffered loss of life and major damage in the 1953 disaster too, after a tidal surge four metres high.

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