Highest recorded tiday surge at Surfleet recorded

Vernatts sluice, Surfleet, at normal high tide.
Vernatts sluice, Surfleet, at normal high tide.
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This year’s annual inspection took in the Vernatts sluice at Surfleet, where a new plaque went up marking the level of the tidal surge which occurred on December 5, 2013.

It’s the highest level ever recorded, but operations engineer Nick Morris says they don’t know how high it was because the monitor was under water.

The sluice was built in 1857 and is the outfall for the Pode Hole and Fourth District pumping stations, a catchment area of about 16,165 hectares.

At Pode Hole, Nick says it is mostly the electric engines that are in use because, unlike the diesel engines that have to be manned, the electric equipment can be operated remotely from engineers’ laptops. The electric engines have a smaller cubic capacity so it is only when they are “getting overwhelmed” or during a particularly wet period that the diesel engines are also switched on.

• The pumping station at Pode Hole and Pinchbeck Engine will be open for Heritage Open Days this year on Friday and Saturday, September 12 and 13 (10am to 4pm both days).