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Flood warning for Norfolk


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Bad news for Walcott this morning with evacuation possible and high winds with a metre above normal.Terrible result last time we had flooding here.although within sight of Happisburgh Light house we are luckily on high ground.

http://www.eveningnews24.co.uk/news/update_flood_alert_and_trouble_on_the_roads_as_wind_and_rain_batter_norfolk_and_suffolk_1_2864593

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Pretty rough conditions today.  I was in a motor launch and went down from Womack to Stokesby, and back to Potter.  45mph + winds.  

Bure and Thurne both close to going over the banks at several points.  I was off the water by 3.30/4.00 and I don't think high tide was until about 5.00ish at Potter.  Wouldn't be surprised if there was some flooding after I'd done.    

Some high sided hire cruisers were struggling between Thurne Mouth and Acle to steer a course, they were getting twisted sideways.  

The fish barrier at Herbert Woods at Potter was closed by the Environment Agency because of the salt water surge so nobody could get in or out of the yard, which was causing some grief both with people wanting to return hire boats and others wanting to get away (though they were probably better off tucked up there - saw some interesting mooring manouvres downriver :)

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It was pretty high at the quay heading at our yard today, normally the timbers in this pic are quite a bit above the water line but about an hour before high tide they were already going under!

 

IMG_20131010_151059.jpg

 

We did get a little water in the yard near the crane but other then that nothing to worry about.........although at one point I did seriously consider moving my car to higher ground!

 

Still not as bad as 2007 though.........

DSCF0933.JPG

 

The flood defences worked overtime that day!

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.....The fish barrier at Herbert Woods at Potter was closed by the Environment Agency because of the salt water surge so nobody could get in or out of the yard, which was causing some grief both with people wanting to return hire boats and others wanting to get away .....

 

The barrier across HW's entrance at Potter has always intrigued me.

 

I had a mooring there for several years, and only saw it closed a couple of times, and only in the off season.

 

I've always been unsure of it's intended purpose.

 

It can't hold back river height levels, so that always ruled that out, and in any case, they now have the "great wall of potter" between the basin and Latham's car park.

 

I thought it was to prevent any spread of oil seepages into the river whenever one should occur in the basin.

 

Much though I enjoy fishing, I find it surprising that such a large commercial hire yard with a large number of private marina berths could be completely blocked for access purely to minimise salt water incursion killing off any fish sheltering in there. 

 

I would have thought the damaging effects on the business would be untenable for the EA to regularly barricade them off ?

 

Always ready to be shot down though, if it's just me misunderstanding..    :)

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Strow, I think you will find that when there is a surge of salt up the Thurne, many thousands of fish take refuge in Herbert Woods basin. This is about the only place that the EA can be sure of keeping the fish safe. I think that they have a statutory power to close the barrier should they deem it essential.

 We moored by the footbridge to lower mast in september and the EA had a large group of people there showing them the raising and lowering of the barrier. They closed off the basin to boats for nearly an hour.

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First time I've ever seen the barrier closed, but conditions were pretty excepional.  

The explanation Labrador offers is the same as the one I was given, that it makes the HW basin a safe haven for fish until the salt water recedes on the ebb tide.  I'm not a fisherman, nor an expert on these matters in any way, so I can't comment on the accuracy of that information.  I do know that it is the Environment Agency that makes the closure (and reopening) decision.  

Feel sorry for the people trapped inside with nowhere to go.  Also feel sorry for the staff at the Broads Authority having to field lots of angry phone calls about the closure when it's a matter outside their remit - it isn't their decision.

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In the past the amount of fish taking refuge both here and further upstream in one of the dykes where a second barrier had been created has been so great that the amount of oxygen in the water was quickly being depleated, and the fire brigade were called to pump fresh water at high pressure into the area to stir and re-oxygenate the depleated supply to stop the fish from suffocating.

Somewhere on my old and abandoned pc l had some pics of this being carried out, along with some of numerous and sometimes large fish, pike ect that simply didnt make it being scooped up by the rangers for disposal, even the boardwalks around Herbert Woods yard were littered with dead fish after the water level returned to normal.

Julz

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Fair enough, it certainly sounds from many people that it is indeed solely for the benefit of the fish.

 

Like I said, I'm a casual fisherman and avid wildlife supporter myself, so it's good to hear of such measures being taken.

 

I'm still surprised though. 

 

I wonder how it would have been if Stalham had been within sea-water surge range, and there was a similar barrier isolating Clive's basins from the River ?

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Because this is such a area of 'natural' beauty, we have lots rules telling us what we cannot do on the water so as not to spoil this environment, and yet when nature makes its own decisions about how it wants to balance its own books man goes and sticks his nose in.  What happens if loads of fish die? predictors of fish have less food and fishermen (partaking in that natural pass time of man) have less to catch.

 

I believe some people are shouting about the otter population, well less fish means less otter food, their numbers will fall, nature finds its own balance every time we interfere there is a knock on effect, people say that otters like the fox kill for fun not just food, well when rations are short I doubt either kill to leave it behind.  

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Stupid question time......

Do the fish just naturally go into the yard as salt water comes up the river or does raising the barrier only protect the fish that just happen to be in there?

Or are their tannoy announcements for the fish to make their way to the yard...........

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I believe its natural instinct to seek out water where the ph balance and oxygen levels are better and easier to live in. Its a bit like us humans would do if crammed into a room that was filled with smoke, we would try and get our heads down low to where the better oxygen levels are , and head out in search of fresh air, except the fish search for fresher less brackish water which carries more oxygen.

Julz

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I find the reasoning of fish migrating into HW`s basin to avoid the brackish water a bit of a strange one?. In recent floods down here in sunny Dorset, there was a case where the flood water penetrated so far that a private fishery was overcome, and many carp, bream, tench etc had "escaped" and found there way into the river Frome which flows through Wareham, and out into Poole harbour. For many months afterwards, fishermen (and women) were reporting good catches of the coarse fish in the river close to its mouth in the harbour, and locals have reported they are still doing so now. Although most coarse fish are NOT salt water creatures, they CAN survive well in very brackish water, so to stipulate the barrier being down for that reason seems a bit odd. It`s also worth pointing out, that even when the flood waters have abated, the river will still have a very brackish mixture to it for weeks, and possibly months afterwards.

 

It`s also worth pointing out, that i read in a fishing publication some years back, that because of the high saline content of the upper Thurne region, certain types of saline water creatures thrive, and can be a considerable part of the diet of some coarse fish, which in turn helps the pike population. I can`t remember which publication it was, but the reason they gave for that region having such a high saline content was because of the amount of seawater being absorb through the land structure, and draining into the Thurne network of broads and rivers. The land structure being what it is, because the Thurne was originally open to the sea, and there are still some ditches that reach from West Somerton / Martham Broad to very near to the coast.

 

 

Regards to all ......................... Neil.

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