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Flooding in the Broads, November 9th 2007

November 9th and East Anglia woke to a spring tide and driving winds, severe flood warnings had been issued the day before as Great Yarmouth witnessed the highest water levels recorded (2.83m AOD) since Great Storm of 1953 when the surge was over 2 m above the predicted tide. The surge proved a real test of the quality of the new and existing defences, and of the reliability of the hydraulic model.

The Broads includes six rivers, the Yare, Bure, Chet, Thurne, Ant, Waveney and the man made Haddiscoe Cut. Its defences performed exceptionally well with only two small breaches occurring.

Yare
Approximately 25% of the works are completed here and the defences performed well with little damage despite extensive overtopping. Saline water incursions caused fish kills in Strumpshaw Fen (SSSI).

Chet
Approximately half the scheduled works are completed in this low lying valley with the banks overtopping during the surge. A number of boatyards, in a currently undefended area, were inundated. Permission for defences here was granted in 2007 with works scheduled for 2008. Sandbags were provided to help those most vulnerable.

Bure
Approximately half the works are completed. The water levels here were high, with some overtopping, but no breaches occurred.

Thurne and Ant
The water levels remained high here for over a week. Leaks in the concrete defences caused some washing out of defences, an emergency repair was carried out immediately and permanent earthworks completed autumn 2008. .

Haddiscoe Cut
Existing crest piling was overtopped causing ballast to be washed out. Overtopping occurred but there was little damage to the defences.

Waveney
There was extensive flooding throughout the valley, though no breaches.

The hydraulic model was also tested. The model had been used to predict the possible flood levels throughout the system and to advise the Environment Agencys flood forecasting system. There was a good correlation between the predictions and the actual levels as measured during the event.

Below are some images from around the Broads on November 9th 2007.

 

 

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