MP Henry Bellingham saw for himself last week the emergency repairs carried out by the Environment Agency to shingle flood banks at Heacham and Snettisham.
He toured the damaged sea defences at Shepherds Port, Snettisham and Heacham Dam with the Agency’s area manager Julie Foley and operations staff.
The importance of the shingle bank as part of the sea defences in the area and the impact the damage to them and property had on local businesses and residents was discussed.
A large number of caravans and mobile homes were displaced by the surge tide. The Environment Agency is concerned that collectively the repairs needed are quite significant and is urging people planning permanent repairs to their property to speak to them about their plans first.
Mr Bellingham, MP for North West Norfolk, said: “Although any damage caused from the recent storm surge of last month is highly regrettable and devastating to individuals, nevertheless, the overwhelming majority of properties and land were saved by the sea defences from what was potentially a worse flood than 1953.
“I would like to praise the Environment Agency for all the work that has gone into the sea defences and for the really good team working and integration with other agencies. I would also like to praise them for their recent emergency repairs at Shepherds Port in Snettisham and Heacham Dam.”
Julie Foley, Area Manager for the Environment Agency, said: “It was vital that emergency repairs to the shingle embankment were completed quickly because it protects so many properties in the area from tidal flooding. We still have more repairs to plan, but at the moment we’re confident that the work we have done offers a good standard of protection to people and property ahead of the February spring tides.
“We understand that property owners in the area are keen to get started on their own repairs. It’s essential that they speak to us first; as we want to ensure that their repairs complement the existing defences and do not adversely affect the local environment. Property owners in the area need to apply for a consent from us before undertaking any repair work.”
Press Release, January 20, 2014