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Sigh of relief as flood defences appear to hold firm against tidal surge along Norfolk and Waveney coast

Storm surge in Sheringham

Storm surge in Sheringham

(c) copyright citizenside.com

Flood defences appear to have held firm against one of the largest tidal surges to hit the east coast in recent years.

Army trucks arrive in Great Yarmouth ahead of storm surge. Picture Facebook/BrettMaverickRobertsArmy trucks arrive in Great Yarmouth ahead of storm surge. Picture Facebook/BrettMaverickRoberts

Thousands of homes on the coast were evacuated throughout the day with residents taking refuge at emergency rest centres.

More than 5,000 homes around Great Yarmouth were evacuated as the east coast was expected to take the brunt of the high tides.

Two hundred soldiers and an additional 50 police officers were deployed to Great Yarmouth to help with evacuations.

Norfolk Fire and Rescue Service drew on national resources to double their capacity, including more high volume pumps and boats. 40 personnel from nine fire services were drafted in to assist in Norfolk including from South Wales, Herefordshire and Oxfordshire.

Residents of Gorleston fill sandbags on Quay Road, on Friday 13th January 2017.
Picture: ANTONY KELLYResidents of Gorleston fill sandbags on Quay Road, on Friday 13th January 2017. Picture: ANTONY KELLY

The Bascule Bridge in Lowestoft and the Mutford Lock in Oulton Broad were closed around 8pm this evening, ahead of the tidal surge reaching its peak.

Emergency rest centres were set up at Cliff Park Ormiston Academy, in Gorleston, Caister Academy, and Christ Church in King’s Street, and manned by British Red Cross volunteers.

The Cromer tide gauge site recorded its highest ever water level since opening in 1984, with a storm surge of 1.5m above the high tide.

Cley bird reserve was flooded by 7.30pm, and homes at Hemsby at risk of erosion are teetering dangerously on the cliff edge.

The River Yare approaching high tide in Great Yarmouth, at 8.30am on Friday 13th January 2017.
Picture: ANTONY KELLYThe River Yare approaching high tide in Great Yarmouth, at 8.30am on Friday 13th January 2017. Picture: ANTONY KELLY

There had been concerns the storm surge would have the same devastating impacts as the floods of 1953.

Thousands were forced to leave their homes in December four years ago, as tides in parts of the North Sea reached higher levels than during the devastating floods of 1953.

In Hemsby, near Great Yarmouth, seven cliff-top homes and a lifeboat station was also washed into the sea. In Cromer the iconic pier was snapped in two.

In an email seen by this newspaper, the Coastguard has warned that similar levels of flooding to 2013 are expected in the Yarmouth area.

MORE: LIVE: Updates on flood warnings and snow across Norfolk and Waveney

Between 5,000 and 7,000 properties thought to be at risk are being visited by officers at Cobholm Island and Southtown areas, West bank of the River Yare between Gorleston and Ferry Hill, East bank of the River Yare from South Denes to South Quay and riverside areas between Runham Vauxhall to Scare Gap.

The decision has been taken to evacuate more homes in the Northgate Street area of Great Yarmouth.

The River Yare approaching high tide in Great Yarmouth, at 8am on Friday 13th January 2017.
Picture: ANTONY KELLYThe River Yare approaching high tide in Great Yarmouth, at 8am on Friday 13th January 2017. Picture: ANTONY KELLY

During the flooding pharmacies will be providing NHS funded emergency supplies to those who cannot reach their usual pharmacies or doctors surgeries and are in need of medication.

The Environment Agency has issued 42 flood alerts - including 12 severe warnings - across the county.

Later today, a combination of high tides and extreme weather conditions are expected to cause large waves along the coast.

The high tide is due at Great Yarmouth at around 9.30pm today, while in Lowestoft it is expected 15 minutes later.

The army have been deployed to the Great Yarmouth area. Picture Twitter/JonathonChildsThe army have been deployed to the Great Yarmouth area. Picture Twitter/JonathonChilds

The Cromer tide gauge site has exceeded it’s highest recorded level after opening in 1984, as the storm surge reached 1.5m at the top of high tide.

MORE: Council leader’s message to public ahead of tidal surge
In West Norfolk, police have identified 20 properties at risk in Heacham and Snettisham, and a precautionary evacuation notice has been issued.

The gates are also being closed to the quay in King’s Lynn, but there is said to be no predicted risk of flooding in the town.

Meanwhile, along the north Norfolk coast, police are most concerned about the villages of Salthouse, Cley-next-the-Sea and Walcott.

Residents of Gorleston fill sandbags on Quay Road, on Friday 13th January 2017.
Picture: ANTONY KELLYResidents of Gorleston fill sandbags on Quay Road, on Friday 13th January 2017. Picture: ANTONY KELLY

Police said resources are in place to evacuate the at-risk areas along the stretch of the north coast if necessary.

People are advised to take care near coastal defences and avoid coastal paths and promenades.

It is anticipated disruption is likely to last for 12 hours and local communities will be kept updated throughout.

The latest reports from Wells-next-the-sea suggest the tide has now gone out without causing much damage this morning.

RAF Regiment personnel from RAF Honington support Great Yarmouth with the evacuation of homes. Photo from Royal Air Force RAF Regiment personnel from RAF Honington support Great Yarmouth with the evacuation of homes. Photo from Royal Air Force

Blakeney Main Street flooded, but Salthouse is said to be safe and people living in both villages have removed their flood barriers.

In Waveney two rest centres will be opened at Water Lane Leisure Centre and Carlton Colville Community Centre in Lowestoft. Coach pick up points will be available from 2pm at Lowestoft Railway station, South Beach Pavilion, Nicholas Everitt Park and at the car park by Southwold Pier to take residents with not transport available to rest centres.

MORE: Residents and businesses urged to ‘be prepared’ as 1,880 properties at ‘high risk’ of flooding
Superintendent Dave Buckley, who is helping co-ordinate the multi-agency response, said: “This is a significant policing operation underlined by the numbers of properties affected.

“We understand people will be anxious but this action is necessary on the back of the latest information from the Environment Agency, which suggests the threat is significant.

RAF Regiment personnel from RAF Honington support Great Yarmouth with the evacuation of homes. Photo from Royal Air Force RAF Regiment personnel from RAF Honington support Great Yarmouth with the evacuation of homes. Photo from Royal Air Force

“Military resources, around 200 troops, are on route will start arriving shortly to assist with the evacuation process and we also have additional police resources in place to manage this response.”

Tony Garbutt UK Coastguard Coastal Area Commander for the Norfolk, Suffolk and Essex area added: “We would remind people that in weather like this the seas and tide are unforgiving.

“We cannot stress enough that cliff edges, piers, rocks, harbours and the water’s edge are not safe places to be when the weather is bad. The force of the waves could very easily sweep you to sea or cause serious injury.”

Twelve severe flood warnings - which pose a danger to life - have been made for the following locations in the county:

RAF Regiment personnel from RAF Honington support Great Yarmouth with the evacuation of homes. Photo from Royal Air Force RAF Regiment personnel from RAF Honington support Great Yarmouth with the evacuation of homes. Photo from Royal Air Force

• Blythburgh and marshes upstream of A12

• East banks of the River Yare and Bure at Great Yarmouth, including North Quay, Newtown and Bure Park.

• East bank of the River Yare at Great Yarmouth from South Denes to South Quay.

• Lowestoft Seafront and Docks.

Great Yarmouth Borough Services get the evacuation centre ready at Christchurch ahead of the high tide.
Picture: ANTONY KELLYGreat Yarmouth Borough Services get the evacuation centre ready at Christchurch ahead of the high tide. Picture: ANTONY KELLY

• North bank of Lake Lothing.

• Oulton Broad near Mutford Lock.

• Southwold and surrounding marshes.

• Riverside Business Park and Kirkley

Terry Rawlinson and his son Jake, 11, put sandbags at the gate of their neighbours, Mary Powley and Barbara Smith, on Pavilion Road, Gorleston on the morning of Friday 13th January 2017, ahead of the predicted floods.
Picture: ANTONY KELLYTerry Rawlinson and his son Jake, 11, put sandbags at the gate of their neighbours, Mary Powley and Barbara Smith, on Pavilion Road, Gorleston on the morning of Friday 13th January 2017, ahead of the predicted floods. Picture: ANTONY KELLY

• Rivers Yare and Bure from Runham Vauxhall to Scare Gap including Vauxhall Holiday Park.

• South Bank of Lake Lothing, Bourne Business Park to Mutford Lock

• West bank of the River Yare at Great Yarmouth from Gorleston to Ferry Hill.

• West Bank of the River Yare at Great Yarmouth including Southtown and Cobholm

Terry Rawlinson and his son Jake, 11, carrying sandbags on Pavilion Road, Gorleston on the morning of Friday 13th January 2017, ahead of the predicted floods.
Picture: ANTONY KELLYTerry Rawlinson and his son Jake, 11, carrying sandbags on Pavilion Road, Gorleston on the morning of Friday 13th January 2017, ahead of the predicted floods. Picture: ANTONY KELLY

Eighteen other flood warnings have been issued by the agency for locations including:

- Area near to the sea defences in Skegness and low lying areas near Gibraltar Point.

- Blythburgh and marshes upstream of A12

- Norfolk Coast from Keswick to Ostend including Walcott

Residents of Gorleston fill sandbags on Quay Road, on Friday 13th January 2017.
Picture: ANTONY KELLYResidents of Gorleston fill sandbags on Quay Road, on Friday 13th January 2017. Picture: ANTONY KELLY

- North Norfolk Coast at Blakeney, Brancaster, Morston, Old Hunstanton, Salthouse and East Cley, Thornham and Wells Quay.

- South Caister from West road to Freemantle Road including North Denes.

- Brancaster Staithe.

- The Seafront at Great Yarmouth from Salisbury Road to the Pleasure Beach.

Great Yarmouth residents filling sandbags on Nelson Road North ahead of the high tide on Friday 13th January 2017.
Picture: ANTONY KELLYGreat Yarmouth residents filling sandbags on Nelson Road North ahead of the high tide on Friday 13th January 2017. Picture: ANTONY KELLY

Firms along Southwold’s popular harbour area have evacuated their premises in preparation for the worst of the floods to hit the area.

The Harbour Inn in Southwold was evacuated early this morning, while nearby Harbour Marine Services has embarked on a two-day operation to protect boats and equipment at its site.

But the company - which refits, repairs and maintains all type of vessels at its base in Southwold Harbour – has had to move heavy equipment such as cranes off site.

Boats inside its workshop have had to be lifted up off the ground after the Environment Agency predicted about a metre of flooding in the area.

Great Yarmouth residents filling sandbags on Nelson Road North ahead of the high tide on Friday 13th January 2017.
Picture: ANTONY KELLYGreat Yarmouth residents filling sandbags on Nelson Road North ahead of the high tide on Friday 13th January 2017. Picture: ANTONY KELLY

He said the worst of the flooding is expected to hit in Southwold around 10.15pm.

The following advice is offered for those preparing for evacuation:

Stay calm and do not panic.

Police officers and / or other officials will visit all properties at risk to advise on the requirement to evacuate.

Great Yarmouth residents filling sandbags on Nelson Road North ahead of the high tide on Friday 13th January 2017.
Picture: ANTONY KELLYGreat Yarmouth residents filling sandbags on Nelson Road North ahead of the high tide on Friday 13th January 2017. Picture: ANTONY KELLY

If road conditions permit, move vehicles to unaffected areas for example higher ground and ask friends / family if you can share their parking facilities.

You will hear about your evacuation point for transport and the location of the reception centre either verbally or by a leaflet.

Try to check that any elderly / vulnerable family members or neighbours know about the evacuation.

Try to inform family members / friends as to where you are evacuating.

Following the storm surge of January 2017 pictured is damage to Cromer. Photo by Ady WoodsFollowing the storm surge of January 2017 pictured is damage to Cromer. Photo by Ady Woods

Listen to the advice of the authorities and follow any instructions to leave the property.

Take special foods and medicines;

Switch off gas and electricity.

If possible, move electrical equipment and furniture upstairs.

Any furniture that you cannot move upstairs, try to raise well off the floor.

Do not forget to lock all doors and windows.

Block doorways and air bricks – sandbags are available via some local authorities

Avoid walking and driving through floodwater, there could be hidden hazards.

Kings Royal Hussars take over from RAF Regt supporting @NorfolkPolice responding to threat of #NorfolkFloods in Great Yarmouth. Photo from Cpl Dek Traylor RLCCrown Copyrigh.Kings Royal Hussars take over from RAF Regt supporting @NorfolkPolice responding to threat of #NorfolkFloods in Great Yarmouth. Photo from Cpl Dek Traylor RLCCrown Copyrigh.

Residents in the areas likely to be affected are advised to review advice from the Environment Agency on preparing your property for flooding:http://www.environment-agency.gov.uk/homeandleisure/floods/31644.aspxand take all necessary steps.

People can also find out more information by calling the Agency’s Floodline on 0845 988 1188. For anyone who needs specific help with evacuation please call Centre 81 on 01493 332253.

MORE: Worst of the snowfall for the region is thought to be over as attention turns to strong coastal winds


















































































































































































































































































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38 comments

  • 'Army trucks arrive in Great Yarmouth ahead of storm surge.' Really well camouflaged as Royal Air Force vehicles!

    Add your comment | Report this comment

    PeeNut

    Saturday, January 14, 2017

  • Does anyone on here remember the 1912 floods? How did you cope?

    Add your comment | Report this comment

    rob

    Friday, January 13, 2017

  • THE FIFTIES, everybody. They were a thing, you know.

    Add your comment | Report this comment

    Yesno

    Friday, January 13, 2017

  • Did the snow blind you when you were typing geraldine???? Its the headline! I do believe you meant coast?? Not cost? And you get paid to do this?

    Add your comment | Report this comment

    georgina cat

    Friday, January 13, 2017

  • DemoCrass From which generation do you think the parents of the baby boomers came from then? May I help you with the definition of a baby boomer - a person born in the years following the Second World War, when there was a temporary marked increase in the birth rate.

    Add your comment | Report this comment

    Hereandthere

    Friday, January 13, 2017

  • Baby Boomers complaining how Millennials can't cope with a bit of snow - Nice comeback Coastgal ;-) Meanwhile, I notice the Millennials aren't making comments about snow on a story relating to floods. Did someone swop the article?

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    Demo Crass

    Friday, January 13, 2017

  • Hereandthere, considering 'life carrying on as normal' is, for you, spewing unwanted verbal diarrhoea all over every single EDP article you see whilst simultaneously cowering in absolute horror at the outside world and anyone daring to enjoy it, thrown in with a healthy dollop of regular roadwork related annoyance, then surviving a spot of snow should be a doddle really. Coastalgal, I appreciate your sentiment. Let's stick hereandthere out in the cold for a night alongside that most heinous of creatures, a young fit millennial, and see who truly is best equipped for survival. We'll even let them take their smartphone (but limited screentime, natch) so they can continue their online, impotent assassination of all and sundry. Whilst we're at it, holy spankbags children in restaurants are annoying, and don't get me started on headphones, iPads, healthy eating and small set-up entrepreneurial businesses started by those dreaded hipsters which are definitely NOT helping to stimulate the economy and repair the damage YOUR generation did, whist simultaneously seeing forgotten traditional industries that your parents valued brought back to the forefront (barbers, bakers etc). Goddamn it, hipsters! SNOOOOOOWWWWWWW

    Add your comment | Report this comment

    Yesno

    Friday, January 13, 2017

  • how did we survive in 1963, but we did no problem.

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    ted

    Friday, January 13, 2017

  • Stay in doors, have some warming chicken or tomato soup, a nice cup of tea and wait for it to go away.

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    Edith

    Friday, January 13, 2017

  • This is an irresponsible headline by the edp. The coastguard are not privy to the same information as the EA who are the lead for issuing flood warnings. Leaked emails are not a reliable source of information. It could have been written by anyone within that organisation.

    Add your comment | Report this comment

    Hereandthere

    Friday, January 13, 2017

  • Never read or seen so much twaddle about a bit of snow, none of which hasn't actually fallen yet. Reporting simply for the sake of it.

    Add your comment | Report this comment

    Mylen1um

    Friday, January 13, 2017

  • The am tide has not reached the levels it reached two days ago. The good news is it would appear that with the weather being so benign at the moment, the am tide is not being held in which should lessen the effect of tonight`s tide. These things are hard to predict with 100% accuracy and are dependant on whether the surge is running early, late or will coincide with tonight`s high water.

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    Hereandthere

    Friday, January 13, 2017

  • In my experience of winter cold snaps over the past few decades ('79, 86 and 2010 spring to mind) initially things were chaotic, as one would expect when a relatively rare and unpredictable massive weather event occurs, but as things went on people adapted and got on with it as best they could. When we get another '47 or '65 things will be chaotic but people will make the best of it as before. There will be more disruption and economic cost these days though, many household essentials travel further to reach consumers and most people usually travel beyond walking distance to work, but people will be just as adaptable and the whingeing gits as accusatory as ever.

    Add your comment | Report this comment

    Cyril the Canary

    Thursday, January 12, 2017

  • These snow warnings a serious case of stating the obvious- surely everbody knows not to eat the yellow snow?

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    Catseye

    Thursday, January 12, 2017

  • Those of us who remember 63 might have a sneaking hope for a big old Scandinavian high pressure and a proper winter, just to see the EDP and others pop from overuse of hyperbole.And to see which generation copes best. Coming soon, June heatwave shocker, generation snowflake failing to cope, followed by baby boomers telling how they got a clump for getting melted road tar on their school uniforms....

    Add your comment | Report this comment

    FlintinChalk

    Thursday, January 12, 2017

  • Actually Johnny H, The American response to snow depends on where you live. If its a place not used to snow , like Dallas, people will panic, shut schools, and mob grocery stores at the merest suggestion it might snow. . If you're in Colorado, or North Dakota or Illinois, or Maine, people will carry on as usual when enough snow fall to being Norfolk to a standstill ten time over.

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    martinh

    Thursday, January 12, 2017

  • The usual dig at the tail end of the baby boomer generation when those who were there know full well that it was those who were born before WW2 who were at the forefront of the wooden headed restrictive working practices which ruined this country. Readers might also have seen recent figures which show it is those between 45 and 55 who have done best out of the economy during the last 20 or so years. As for snow, been there done that skated on every available bit of ice, had frozen pipes , seen long forgotten wells opened to water cattle, birds drop out of the air frozen and foxes frozen in ice in drains. Power cuts, coal shortages, schools kept open by dint of pouring boiling water down toilets...And still Eastern Counties kept buses running as soon as roads were unblocked. Three flakes and First bus give up !

    Add your comment | Report this comment

    FlintinChalk

    Thursday, January 12, 2017

  • Coastgal May I gently suggest you re read your comment. It doesn`t make one ounce of sense. The term, "snowflake," has not become a word of common usage in our language for nothing. I have never known such a drama being made out of such a light fall of slushy snow. Get over it please people.

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    Hereandthere

    Thursday, January 12, 2017

  • Hereandthere, it wasn't your generation that kept things running in 1963, it was our parents, the ones who fought in the war and overcome that. You just did what you were told and kept that up throughout your life, look at the mess you made of the country between 1970 and 1990 when you were left in charge, very little kept running. I have more faith in the younger generation than I do in your's

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    Coastgal

    Thursday, January 12, 2017

  • The EDP-Fine purveyors of false news. Surprised they didn't try and include the Monarch in this article as they love to grovel to her.

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    Toxteth O'Grady

    Thursday, January 12, 2017

  • The, "snowflake," generation - bless them. For they know not what it is like to experience snow that goes on for weeks on end. Can`t remember 1947 but can remember 1962 -63 all too well when it was freezing from December to March. And guess what? Life carried on as normal. You just got used to all the pipes and the inside of your bedroom window freezing up. In the winters of the 50s we used to have some real good slides in the playground. No elf and safety then.

    Add your comment | Report this comment

    Hereandthere

    Thursday, January 12, 2017

  • please note, this is snow, 5mm is not.

    image

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    calmudownboy

    Thursday, January 12, 2017

  • Just an idea ,when we have snow and the city grinds to a halt just get the lovely Catherine Nash to smile on local BBC news and it will melt away aaaaaaanh

    Add your comment | Report this comment

    Muddy

    Thursday, January 12, 2017

  • "You couldn't make this stuff up!" Looks as if somebody has. Current photos or are they all archive?

    Add your comment | Report this comment

    Patrik

    Thursday, January 12, 2017

  • "Dog walkers battle through the snow in Catton Park"... Are they really battling in that 5mm of light snow ?

    Add your comment | Report this comment

    rob

    Thursday, January 12, 2017

  • Cryptic nothing will grind to a halt, the forecast has changed and it is expected to rain so the headline is incorrect. To be fair we seem to cope better than countries like France and America where I have experienced mayhem at the first sign of snow. The point about national media is good, the snow hype has been spread by the tabloids especially the Express who employ a Weather journalist who measures success in terms of headlines rather than accuracy. Sadly the BBC have followed this path with its -13C forecast the other day

    Add your comment | Report this comment

    JohnnyH

    Thursday, January 12, 2017

  • The NHS is recommending that everybody aged over 65 to stay indoors and prepare themselves bowls of soup.

    Add your comment | Report this comment

    Steely Dan

    Wednesday, January 11, 2017

  • And everything grinds to a halt. It's hardly an earth quake, volcano eruption or a giant meteorite strike. Not worthy of a news item but an informative Weather forecast.

    Add your comment | Report this comment

    Cryptic

    Wednesday, January 11, 2017

  • @norwichred I think this is a fantastic article and fabulous photographs. As regards your snide remark about the Norfolk media being the butt of the nation's jokes, I think you will find this country is the laughing stock of Europe, if not the world, especially after the England men's football team were beaten by Iceland in European football championships. Exacerbated by the rubbish that constantly appears in other newspapers such as The Daily Mail, Daily Express, Daily Star, The Sun and the Telegraph on other news subjects. I rather read Norfolk's press.

    Add your comment | Report this comment

    Ray Newman

    Wednesday, January 11, 2017

  • If nobody drove rear wheel drive cars and if they drove the same in snow as they do on black ice we would have no hold ups!

    Add your comment | Report this comment

    JohnnyH

    Wednesday, January 11, 2017

  • Budgie is right about snow being irregular visitor. I was born after the 50s and too young to remember the big one in 1963, I was well into my teens before I saw proper snow (1979) and had the joy of the school shutting for a couple of days due to safety issues. Since then only a few years in the 80s, work shut for 3 days as the owner couldn't get in! And a few years at the start of this decade. Snow is a rare event which make the 100 days of snow forecasts look stupid

    Add your comment | Report this comment

    JohnnyH

    Wednesday, January 11, 2017

  • SMH - I noticed the captions too, thought I'd missed something

    Add your comment | Report this comment

    JohnnyH

    Wednesday, January 11, 2017

  • I love the pictures, given in case nobody knows what "snow" looks like. Of course, the captions on a lot of them are inaccurate - "Snow falling in Norwich city centre this morning" when nothing has fallen.

    Add your comment | Report this comment

    So_Many_Haters!

    Wednesday, January 11, 2017

  • So what we have here is a story about how it's very unlikely to snow this weekend. You couldn't make this stuff up! And they wonder why Norfolk media is the butt of the nation's jokes.

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    norwichred

    Wednesday, January 11, 2017

  • Back in the 50's we were often treated to a snow laden winter, with no exaggeration of up to 10 inches upon some occasions! Everyone had a cold, everyone had the flu, yet we still managed to get to school and my parents to their work. Cars, there were obviously less of them back then, were rarely seen in the snow, as people were smarter and opted to commute on foot. Roaring log fires could be smelt and the fun and joy of the snow was accepted by all. These days, though, it's different. We worry about the snow, it stops us in our tracks. No fun or romanticism is felt and all we do, is hope for it to melt.

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    Edith

    Wednesday, January 11, 2017

  • ''“Whilst this is unlikely, there is a small chance of snow settling with disruption to road, rail and air services as well as interruptions to power supplies and other utilities.'' Oh dear it could be bad but at least it will not be as in the late 50's when I walked to my primary school in snow that was 8 - 10" deep. Yes the school was open though we finished at lunchtime due to further snow falls. Hemblington school east of Norwich.

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    JEN

    Wednesday, January 11, 2017

  • And drivers always struggle in small amounts of snow these days.

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    Jamie Knights

    Wednesday, January 11, 2017

  • When growing up in the 'Fifties snow was a guaranteed addition to winter. Almost every shed had a sledge hanging from a nail, and on the wondrous mornings snow appeared expeditions would be made to the roads with hills. Those with sledges would be going up and down constantly, while those without sledges would be running and creating the longest slide possible. Nowadays snow is such an irregular visitor that youngsters don't seem to know what to do with it when it occasionally arrives.

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    budgie

    Wednesday, January 11, 2017

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