Coastal Flood Management Overview (00:56)
When extreme weather and high tides combine, whole coastline sections can disappear. Hard engineering schemes like seawalls and groins are expensive; governments must decide whether to build defenses or to let nature take its course.
Dawlish and South Devon: Why Were Storms so Severe? (02:27)
In February 2014, Dawlish residents filmed waves breaching sea walls. Hear an explanation of weather patterns and tides contributing to the storm. Beachfront resident Steve Briars was told to evacuate.
Dawlish and South Devon: What Impacts did the Storms Have? (04:06)
Briars risked staying at his beachfront home to film the seawall breach. Waves destroyed railway tracks; hear historic reasons for building the railroad at a low level. The line connects Exeter and Plymouth; its closure impacted tourism as well as local traffic.
Regional Economic Impacts (02:32)
Many storms struck Devon and Cornwall between December 2013 and February 2014. Railway closures impacted the Brixham Fish Markets, and heavy seas prevented fishing—disrupting the local economy.
Dawlish and South Devon: How did People Respond to the Damage? (02:13)
Repairs on the railway linking South Devon and Cornwall to the U.K. began immediately after the storms; hear how construction crews bolstered the seawall. Tourism organizations used social media to communicate that the region was open for business.
Dawlish Sea Defenses (03:50)
Eighteen months after the storm, construction crews are still working to make the railway line more resilient. Hard engineering projects are expensive and extreme weather events will increase; the government is looking at an alternative inland route.
North Norfolk's Tidal Surge (01:26)
In December 2013, high winds, low pressure and spring tides damaged coastal properties and flooded freshwater habitats. This raises the question of whether to maintain sea defenses or to let nature take its course.
What makes Blakeney Point Special? (03:01)
The North Norfolk spit has been created by a long shore drift process. It provides a habitat for seals and diverse bird species. The Blakeney Freshes, a freshwater ecosystem created by draining salt marshes, hosts migratory birds.
Why did Blakeney Flood? (01:59)
Normal tidal patterns create a seal habitat at Blakeney Point. Learn about unusual tides, a low pressure system, and wind conditions that caused the North Norfolk tidal surge.
What was the Impact of Blakeney Point Floods? (03:30)
Only a few seals were washed inland during the North Norfolk tidal surge. The only real damage was to manmade structures. However, saltwater flooded freshwater marshes, killing wildlife and grasses and introducing saltwater species.
Regeneration and Resilience (03:28)
The tidal surge threatened Blakeney Point's freshwater ecosystem; repairs were estimated at £1 million. Some believed it should return to saltwater in a process called natural realignment but Natural England called for its conservation. A wider bank and freshwater sluices will prevent future damage.
Natural Realignment (01:30)
West of Brancaster, the 2013 tidal surge removed material from dunes protecting saltwater marshes and houses. Rehabilitation costs outweigh benefits and the National Trust is letting nature take its course.
Credits: Extreme Weather: Coastal Flooding (00:44)
Credits: Extreme Weather: Coastal Flooding
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