Tidal Surge, again.
The Norfolk coast, for that matter much of the Southern East coast of England, breathed a sigh of relief this weekend as Poseidon only decided to show a hint of his enormous power through the second tidal surge in three years.
Thankfully, the devastation of 2013 wasn’t repeated to such a large scale. In December 2013, Cromer suffered. The Pier was closed for weeks, the sea wall destroyed as huge chunks of concrete as heavy as buses were ripped off and lifted down the beach. Beach huts were completely obliterated, and the cliffs on the West Beach were unrecognisable. This year, there was minimal damage; the promenade wall will need a little patching up in places, but nothing that a few sticking plasters and bit of blue-tack won’t cure. The pier bar floor, also will need a bit of work. When the waves come in hard against the sea wall they have nowhere to go but up, and if there happens to be a pier in the way, then it’s going to suffer the consequences. Luckily, those in charge of Cromer’s finest asset, are a hardy bunch – the type made of stiff-upper-lips and tea that built an empire; the pier was back open again the next day. The main casualties were a handful of beach huts along the East Beach. With nothing to protect them from the waves, a few were destroyed and many damaged. Some did manage to remain remarkably unharmed. It was a sad sight to see the freshness of the paint on some of those huts, which bought home very quickly the fact that for some, history is repeating itself from such a short time ago.
For those living near the sea, there are always reminders of how powerful it can be. This can easily be demonstrated by a visit to Cromer’s RNLI museum, (which is fantastic for adults and children, alike, by the way), or even to the lifeboat hut at the end of the pier. A quick glance at the list of call-outs tells the story.
This will, of course, happen again. As a child growing up in Cromer, it was always an exciting time when a big spring tide coincided with an on shore storm, there would always be more onlookers on the clifftops than in the cinema those nights, and for the children it was incredible exciting. But, luckily, the enormity of 2013 was an exception, and hadn’t happened for sixty years. Let’s hope the next devastating surge isn’t for another sixty, at least.