Storm Surge...

I had a busy day on Thursday last week. I woke in the Palace Hotel, Manchester and led a day looking at some possible Futures for Secondary Geography.

When I went to the station, there was a milling mass of chaos as thousands of people headed for trains which were mostly cancelled, delayed, or terminating at different places. Some trains had platform alterations, were cancelled then reinstated, or were running late. 

Luckily my train was still running, although it started to lose time during the journey, and ended up being rather late, and stopping at random stations... but with each minute I got closer to home...

Along the way, I loaded up my BBC Radio App and started to listen to the local radio station(s)

Here are some of the notes I took while listening to BBC Radio Norfolk

Storm surge stories

Strong winds - blowing onshore and creating large waves
Tide - high tide coinciding with the surge ?
Heavy rain - rivers swollen, so tidal stretches higher than usual
Low pressure - sea surface higher than usual, because no atmosphere pressing down on the surface

Link to explanation of surge - possible student creation of animations or updated illustrations...

1953 was mentioned – ‘surge of 1953 proportions’ underway (after the event it turned out that in some places like King's Lynn the storm surge was actually higher than in 1953)

I picked up on Twitter that houses on the beach road in Snettisham, where I lived for 12 years, were being evacuated. The caravans in that area don't have winter occupation.

Wells next the Sea 
Staithe St was already being flooded
Quayside closed and the flood barriers were closed - the chandlery was on the news later (and was also visited by David Cameron more recently...)

High seas hitting the esplanade and sea wall
Lifeboat inaccessible
Boats moved to top of ramp near the Henry Blogg museum, which was under threat. Beach huts at risk.
Sea hitting the base of the pier
Rocks at the base of the esplanade cracked

Great Yarmouth
Cliff Park High School housing residents from an old folks home
Students are helping out 

Somebody called Ian, who'd had a business on sea front since 1995 was concerned about his business and had never seen anything quite like it...

Blakeney Point
Hotel being evacuated…

King's Lynn
River Ouse almost touching the bridge at Kings Lynn
King’s Lynn – Purfleet - a big crowd gathering
1 in 200 year event specification for the defences...

18 000 people moved from houses.. 

 I liked this quote:

‘I’ve been talking rather inexpertly because I’m not a geographer'
Matthew Gudgin, presenter on BBC Radio Norfolk

I finally got back to Ely over an hour later than planned, and then had to claim my car from the school car park and drive home... A long, and varied day... Living Geography...

This Thursday I intend to head over to the coast to collect some stories and take some photos with the aim of developing a case study for a GCSE textbook I'm going to be writing part of next year...
There has been plenty of coverage in the local and national news over the last week, and some great community efforts to support those who were affected...
Watch this space for more...


Angus Willson said…
On the wall of my South Benfleet Essex primary school classroom there was a sign stating "this room can accommodate 25 people". The headteacher had gained an MBE from actions related to the flooding of Canvey Island in 1953. (I was not born at the time, you will understand!)