Floods of 1953

In the dead of a winter's night 60 years ago a storm surge pushed down the North Sea bringing devastating floods to the East coast. It came with little warning and more than 300 people were killed in Essex, Suffolk, Norfolk and Lincolnshire.

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Facts and figures about the Great Flood of 1953

Sixty years ago tonight one of the worst peacetime disasters in Britain was unfolding around the coast of East Anglia. High tides combined with strong winds and a deep area of low pressure in the North Sea caused a storm surge which brought huge waves crashing into coastal communities.

More than three hundred people were killed in Norfolk, Suffolk, Lincolnshire and Essex on the night of 31st January/1st February 1953.

  • 32,000 people were evacuated from the flooded areas
  • 160,000 acres of land were inundated with sea water and not usable for several years
  • The damage was estimated at £1.2 billion at today's prices
  • The storm surge exceeded 5.6 metres or 18.4 ft above normal sea level

Click here for more information on the 1953 floods from the Met Office.

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