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Last Updated: Friday, 9 November 2007, 10:14 GMT
Residents return home after surge
Great Yarmouth
Flooding hit parts of Great Yarmouth
People who left their homes in Norfolk because of the fear of flooding during an early morning tidal surge have now been allowed home.

Hundreds of residents in Great Yarmouth, who had spent the night in five schools used as emergency centres, began returning home at about 0900 GMT.

The Environment Agency said the main tidal peak in East Anglia had occurred and the risk of flooding "diminished".

A police spokeswoman said there had been no serious flooding in the town.

There had, however, been some localised flooding in the county, though lifeboat crews told the BBC they thought north Norfolk had escaped without much damage.

At the height of the emergency, three of the designated rest centres in the county were full or over capacity.

The storm surge - a combination of gale-force winds and a high tide - hit the coast at about 0800 GMT, with levels nearly 8in (20cm) lower than originally feared, the Environment Agency said.

Train services suspended

The roads into Great Yarmouth - the A47, the A12 and A1064 - were closed to incoming traffic, but have now re-opened.

At one point, water levels in part of the town were reported to have been 2ft (60cm) deep.

Caister-on-Sea
Emergency shelters in Caister-on-Sea were filled

One train service between Norwich and Lowestoft remains suspended.

Many residents living near seafronts left their homes on the advice of police.

In Walcott, Norfolk, villagers gathered in a pub after being evacuated in the early hours.

Speaking on BBC Radio Norfolk, Environment Secretary Hilary Benn, praised the emergency procedures that were put in place.

"We have seen the benefit of a lot of hard work, preparation and a lot of people working their socks off overnight and I am very grateful to them," he said.

More than 300 people died in 1953 when large parts of Lincolnshire, Norfolk, Suffolk, Essex and Kent were left under water when high tides and a storm saw a tidal surge of 3.2m (10ft 6in).

For more information on flood risks call the Environment Agency's Floodline on 08459 881188.


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VIDEO AND AUDIO NEWS
The floods were billed as potentially the biggest storm surge on the east coast since 1953



SEE ALSO
'No major flooding' along coast
09 Nov 07 |  Suffolk
Tidal surge 'poses grave danger'
09 Nov 07 |  England

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