‘Better’ protection for tidal surge

6/12/13   ''The Lord Raglan in Emsworth pub that was flooded. ''Picture: Peter Mahoney
6/12/13 ''The Lord Raglan in Emsworth pub that was flooded. ''Picture: Peter Mahoney

A TIDAL surge affected Emsworth and Sidlesham last week, as a pub was flooded and two homes were pumped out.

But the damage was not as widespread as anticipated after the Environment Agency issued flood warnings for Bosham, Itchenor and Emsworth, and flood alerts for Selsey, Elmer, Bognor, Bracklesham Bay and Thorney Island on Thursday.

However, Pete Mahoney, landlord of The Lord Raglan, was a victim of the surge.

He was woken at 1.30am by neighbours as water started gushing into the pub.

“Someone kept ringing the phone and I just thought it was a customer who had left a DVD or something behind,” he said.

“But then I saw what had happened.”

Pete and his family spent the next morning clearing up the pub, after two inches of water managed to seep in.

In Sidlesham, fire crews were called out at 1.53am after two homes were affected by flooding. The homes were pumped out and two further houses were inspected, but escaped the floods.

But most of the coastal villages remained unaffected, suggesting new sea defences, particularly the £28m defences at Medmerry, were put to good use.

The Chichester district got off lightly compared to some parts of the UK and the Environment Agency called it ‘the biggest coastal event of the last 60 years’.

Jason Wakeford, a spokesman for the Environment Agency, said sea defences seemed to reduce the damage.

“Some 800,000 properties have been protected by the defences put in place in the last six decades and we have issued 120,000 warnings to individual properties,” he said.

“It is quite clear from those numbers that events like this are hugely dangerous – the 1953 flood claimed thousands of lives so alerts and warnings are very important to prevent such a disaster happening again.

“This time we had much better protection in place.”