East Coast flooding in UK – December 2013

5 December 2013

Following a major storm surge – the worst since 1953, 1,400 homes have been flooded whilst thousands of people were forced to leave their homes.

Background – What happened in 1953?
VIDEO – Floods of 1953: http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-21272289
Exceptional weather conditions, coupled with an inability to warn people, meant that whole communities were unaware of the imminent threat from the devastating storm surge that saw many low lying areas of East Anglia and the Thames Estuary suffer severe flooding.

Met Office guide to 1953 east coast flood
Source: metoffice.gov.uk

What has been the legacy of the 1953 floods? http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/science-environment-21258341
Causes in 2013:
What is a storm surge and how is it caused?
The Atlantic storm, which brought the coastal flooding and gale-force winds of up to 100mph, caused widespread disruption across the UK and claimed the lives of two men – in West Lothian, Scotland, and in Retford, Nottinghamshire.

The Environment Agency said 800,000 homes in England had been protected by flood defences and better forecasting had given people “vital time” to prepare.
The agency said sea levels had peaked at 5.8m (19ft) in Hull – the highest seen by the East Yorkshire city since 1953 – and 4.7m (15ft) in Dover, Kent, the highest recorded there in more than 100 years.

Preparing for the 2013 storm surge:
How the barrier works:  http://www.environment-agency.gov.uk/homeandleisure/floods/38359.aspx

This graphic from the Environment Agency shows the extent of the flooding that would have occurred in London if the flood barrier had not been raised.

The Environment Agency estimates that 800,000 homes and businesses were saved due to flood defence schemes.

Impacts of December 2013 floods:
Thousands of people were evacuated from Britain’s east coast of England.
1,400 homes were flooded, including 300 in Boston, Lincolnshire, according to Environment Agency (EA) figures.

Victims of the most serious tidal surge in 60 years have been warned to avoid direct contact with floodwater and beware of rats moving into homes.

More detail and pictures here: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2519891/Beware-invasion-flood-rats-Homeowners-hit-tidal-surge-told-avoid-contact-water-amid-fears-pest-invasion.html

VIDEO – Bungalow falls off cliff in Norfolk http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-25258149
VIDEO – Thousands evacuated: http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-25253733
VIDEO – Cleaning up after the floods: http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-25257754
VIDEO – Aerial footages of flood aftermath: http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-25260863
Sources: BBC News; The Met Office; BBC Weather; Mail Online; ITN

Coastal Landscapes and Landforms video

Year 10 GCSE Geography homework questions/tasks:

  1. What is the term used to describe the distance over which waves build up?
  2. Why are waves on the south coast so powerful?
  3. Draw a series of labelled diagrams to show how Lulworth Cove was formed
  4. Draw a labelled diagram to show how longshore drift works – include the terms; updrift, downdrift, swash and backwash
  5. What have been built along Bournemouth beach to protect it from coastal erosion
  6. How do groynes work? – You could draw a diagram if you wish
  7. Describe the impact the groynes at Bournemouth have had on Barton On Sea
  8. Explain why this has happened
  9. Why did they decide not to protect the homes at Barton On Sea?

Landslip leaves caravans teetering

BBC News – More than a dozen caravan owners have had a lucky escape after a landslip in south Wales left them teetering on the edge of a cliff.
The rockfall happened at Porthkerry Leisure Park, Barry, Vale of Glamorgan, at about 22:00 GMT on Monday.
Work is under way to move caravans away from the edge to another part of the site, which has 300 pitches in total.
The Vale of Glamorgan council said it was a “matter of concern” and the authority is investigating.
The council has adopted a ‘Shoreline Management’ plan for this section of the coast which suggests that any repairs to cliffs or the introduction of any built sea defences would be inappropriate, recommending instead, ‘no active intervention.