Clean-up after the storm

The clean-up operation is underway after communities in Essex, Suffolk and Norfolk are counting the cost of the largest storm surge in 60 years.

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Environment Agency still assessing the damage caused by last week's tidal surge

Cromer Pier under siege. Credit: Leigh Caudwell

A week after the highest tidal surge in sixty years struck our region, the Environment Agency says it's still counting the cost of the damage to our coast line.

Thousands of homes were evacuated in Norfolk, Suffolk and Essex ahead of the storm, but most were protected from the worst of the flooding, by the region's sea defences.

Outside McDonald's in Lowestoft, Suffolk. Credit: Paul Nichols

Adrian Gosling from The Environment Agency says the cost of repairing them will run into millions of pounds, but work has begun:

"Where we've seen obvious breaches and obvious works, we're working hard to plug those.

"That maybe getting shingle and other material to repair breaches on shingle banks, it maybe getting clay and materials like that to repair breaches in earth banks.

"Where harder defences have been damaged, we're looking at more technical solutions there."

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Emergency fund set up in Great Yarmouth for those affected by the tidal surge

An emergency recovery fund is being set up in Great Yarmouth, to help those most affected by last week's tidal surge.

Great Yarmouth Borough Council said it will use some of its reserves, to help people who have lost their homes.

A leaflet explaining how people can apply for help is being delivered to residents. They are also applying to the Environment Agency for a grant to help with clear-up costs.

Items saved from the tidal surge stolen

Several homes by the sea in Hemsby were destroyed by large waves. Credit: Mike Page

Thieves have stolen belongings salvaged from a home which fell into the sea after a tidal surge hit the east coast.

Three homes were destroyed and four others "seriously undermined" as waves ravaged the village of Hemsby in Norfolk on Thursday night.

But while residents formed human chains and battled to save whatever possessions they could as the homes slipped over the cliff edge, suspects made off with valuables which had been rescued.

Norfolk Police said the offenders struck at some point between 10pm on Thursday and 11.30am on Sunday.

A police spokesman said: "They entered the shed on The Marrams and removed a carrier bag of items that had been saved from a bungalow falling into the sea.

"Items taken include a gold necklace, three watches, a digital camera and a camcorder.

"There were many members of the public in the area offering assistance over the course of the weekend and officers would like to hear from anyone who may have seen any suspicious activity around the bungalow or adjacent sheds at the time of the incident."

Storm surge: Looking back at a dramatic 24 hours in the East

In parts of the region, last night's high tide reached record levels.

In fact, in King's Lynn and Great Yarmouth, water levels were higher than those seen in the Great Flood of 1953.

In Essex and Suffolk the highest point was just below those recorded 60 years ago.

Hundreds of people in Essex, Suffolk and Norfolk were evacuated from their homes to escape the predicted flood damage.

Here is a look back at a dramatic 24 hours.

Click below to watch a report from ITV News Anglia's Malcolm Roberston

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Insurance expert offers advice on how to claim for storm damage

Malcolm Tarling from the Association of British Insurers Credit: ITV News Anglia

It's bound to be a busy time for the insurance companies as the damage caused by the storm surge is assessed.

Malcolm Tarling from the Association of British Insurers says that those wishing to claim should get in contact with their insurance company as soon as possible:

Severe flooding caused havoc in the East. Credit: ITV News Anglia

"The first thing you should do is contact your insurance company"

"Your policy document will give details of who to contact and most companies now have an emergency helpline numbers."

"A lot of companies will be being proactive. They'll be identifying their customers in those postcodes worst affected in the region, and will actually be contacting their customers directly instead of waiting for their customers to contact them."

"The priority for any insurance today, and in the coming days, is to get claims dealt with as quickly as possible, and for badly damaged properties, they'll be arranging alternative accommodation."

Norfolk: Cromer's iconic pier battered by relentless onslaught

Cromer in North Norfolk took a severe battering last night.

The grade two listed pier is closed after the sea tore up wooden decking and ripped holes in the floor of the pavilion theatre.

The funfair on the prom has gone, beach huts have been swept into the sea and great chunks of the huge, concrete sea wall are missing.

Click below to watch a report from ITV News Anglia's Natalie Gray

Witnesses express sadness as Hemsby homes lost to the sea

Witnesses have today been expressing their sadness after last night's tidal surge ripped through the Norfolk village of Hemsby.

Several homes were destroyed by the surge. Credit: ITV News Anglia

Several homes were destroyed by the large waves.

The sun sets over Hemsby today following last night's devastation. Credit: ITV News Anglia

Robin Adams lost his holiday home in the surge. He says that he has never seen a storm like yesterday's in his life:

Robin Adams, pictured wearing the cap, looks out to sea. Credit: ITV News Anglia

"I've seen storms before, but this was relentless."

"The sand and the dunes were just being eaten up."

"It was a dramatic event, but obviously I've lost my holiday home and those memories are gone now. It's very sad."

Norfolk residents given go-ahead to return to their homes

People were evacuated from their homes yesterday. Credit: ITV News Anglia

Thousands of people across Norfolk have been advised that it is now safe to return to their homes.

Around 10,000 properties were visited yesterday, with many residents encouraged to evacuate.

However, following consultation with the Environment Agency, all partner agencies have now agreed that a phased return can begin.

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