Today marks the tenth anniversary of the tidal surge that hit the Humber region and other parts of the country.
Photo of Spurn Point being breached, curtesy of Environment Agency
As floodwater breached defences along the coast and Humber estuary, there were also reports of gusts up to 90mph across the North Sea. Humberside Fire and Rescue Service received up to 300 emergency calls, which is 5 times more than a typical day in December for our Control Room. As the surge impacted areas across the region our fire staff responded to 79 flooding incidents on 5 December 2013, working with partner agencies to help save lives. The Service was called to a further 18 flooding related incidents the day after.
Businesses and homes in coastal towns such as Bridlington and Cleethorpes found themselves submerged in several feet of water and Spurn Point was breached turning it into an island as the water surged into the Humber.
As the storm surge reached Hull, the tide reached a record level of 5.8m. Residents in surrounding villages and Victoria Dock area of Hull were evacuated as water breached the sea walls. Despite concerns, the tidal barrier held firm, with only a narrow margin of 40cm.
If it had failed, thousands of homes could have been at risk of flooding. However, floodwater did enter Albert Dock and made its way into the city and surging up Ferensway, reaching Anlaby Road.
Floodwater continued to affected areas on both sides of the Humber foreshore as it continued to head towards Goole and the surrounding area. The strong winds throughout the day also resulted in the Humber Bridge being closed to all traffic.
As we reflect on this anniversary, it serves as a reminder of the importance of being prepared for potential flooding and to make sure you are signed up for flood warnings: https://www.gov.uk/sign-up-for-flood-warnings
Check out our further advice and guidance on flooding below.