Harbour master prepares all defences ahead of Storm Eunice

Wells Harbour master Robert Smith. Picture: Ian Burt

Wells Harbour master Robert Smith. Picture: Ian Burt - Credit: Ian Burt

A Norfolk harbour master has said no chances will be taken ahead of Storm Eunice.

Robert Smith, harbour master in Wells, said his team were implementing all their defences ahead of the severe weather which is set to hit the region on February 18.

Storm Eunice is set to batter Norfolk and Waveney bringing 80mph gusts which could pose a “danger to life”.

The Environment Agency said it's not currently planning to close the town's defence gate, but will monitor the tidal forecasts.

Marie and Mike Strong work closely with the Environment Agency during their tests of the flood gate in Wells-next-the-Sea.

The Environment Agency during previous tests of the flood gate in Wells-next-the-Sea. - Credit: Aaron McMillan

Mr Smith, who witnessed the effects of the tidal surge back in 2013, said he does not want to take any risks.

"We are putting all our defences in just to be on the safe side," he said.

“All flood defences for the harbour, the flood wall, boarding in the harbour, the car park, will be there to protect the buildings.

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“With the wind we are experiencing and the spring tides, if we put everything in place and the worse scenario happens, it puts us in the best place.”

The flooded quay at Wells. Picture: Ian Burt

The flooded quay at Wells back in 2013. - Credit: IAN BURT

An Environment Agency spokesperson said: “Based on the latest forecast for Wells there are currently no plans to close the defence gate as the tides do not reach intervention levels.

“However, our duty officers are monitoring the tidal forecasts and should the situation change we will take the appropriate action. We have teams of people on standby 24/7 to respond to incidents over Friday and the weekend."

Mr Smith compared the perfect surge to a fruit machine, saying there are five factors for the worst weather to hit the town, including tide heights, winds, and pressure.

Wells Quayside has seen its highest tides, better known as Spring Tides, on January 5.

Wells Quayside has seen its highest tides, better known as Spring Tides, on January 5. - Credit: Robert Smith

“You can never predict if all five cherries will appear in the machine, I think we will get a few cherries tomorrow, but let's hope there aren't many,” he added.

Flood defence wardens, Marie and Mike Strong, said the group of volunteers are well drilled for whatever occurs tomorrow.

Marie and Mike Strong, the joint coordinator of the Wells flood action plan and flood warden

Marie and Mike Strong, the joint coordinator of the Wells flood action plan and flood warden. - Credit: Aaron McMillan

The pair are encouraging people to test out their flood defences and make sure they are in good condition.

You sign up for free flood warnings and keep up to date with the latest situation at https://www.gov.uk/check-flood-risk, call Floodline on 0345 988 1188 or follow @EnvAgency on Twitter for the latest flood updates.