60th anniversary of 1953 floods is remembered in Sutton Bridge

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Thoughts of Sutton Bridge residents are today with those involved in memorial services marking the 60th anniversary of floods that have been described as the worst disaster the country has known in peace time.

More than 300 people along the East Coast lost their lives, as did thousands of cattle, sheep, pigs and poultry, on January 31, 1953.

A terrific gale held up the water in the North Sea and this, combined with a spring tide, caused massive flooding from Lincolnshire to Kent.

Almost the whole of the Lincolnshire coast from Winteringham on the Humber Bank to Sutton Bridge, approximately 100 miles to the south, was affected and 32,000 people were evacuated from their homes.

No-one died in Sutton Bridge, but the safety of people living in the town was threatened when water swept over part of the west bank of the Nene flooding 80 houses.

The river overflowed the banks and within minutes was cascading into the low-lying streets: two feet of water swept through homes in Lime Street, and houses in Custom House Street, Wharf Street and High Street were all flooded.

Coun Chris Brewis, who lives in Sutton Bridge, said today is a time to reflect on the disaster and to make sure nothing like this happens again.

He said: “You never know when something like this might happen again. People think it can’t but it probably can.

“We have tried to set up a flood risk group without much success. This is a time to remember but also a time to make sure that in the future we are better prepared.”

For more details of what happened that night in Sutton Bridge, visit http://www.spaldingtoday.co.uk/news/features/sutton-bridge-flooded-60-years-ago-this-month-1-4602129