Sutton Bridge is bracing itself for a big tide on New Year’s Day that will be about a foot higher than the one that threatened to flood homes on December 5.
The Environment Agency (EA) says tides in the first week of January will be “slightly higher” than those on the night Britain’s east coast took a battering, but this does not mean a repeat of the flooding that hit towns like Boston.
EA spokesman John Ray said high tides – known as spring tides – can be predicted years ahead, but tidal surges can only be forecast about a week before as they depend on weather.
Tidal flooding is caused by a combination of tide levels, tidal surge, low pressure and strong winds.
The EA’s flood and coast risk management senior adviser, Mark Robinson, said: “The chance of spring tides combining with weather conditions that caused the tidal surge this December are low for the New Year.
“However, our teams are closely monitoring the situation and we will remain vigilant to ensure we remain safe by issuing flood warnings where appropriate.”
Sutton Bridge Parish Council decided on Tuesday it will try to get a team of volunteers together to fill sandbags the next time the village is threatened by flooding.
On December 5, the tide forced water from the Nene out through a drainage valve and it cascaded into Lime Street.
The EA put sandbags on the drain and a line of sandbags across Lime Street – no homes were flooded but parish councillors and residents filled sandbags to lay across doorsteps.
Police were forced to close Cross Keys Bridge for public safety after 100 sightseers abandoned cars in nearby streets to watch the river levels rise.
The parish council is calling for some streets to be closed to traffic next time there is a flood so sightseers can’t get in the way of emergency services.
• Flooding information is updated every 15 minutes on www.environment-agency.gov.uk