Cromer’s 60 year storm – Before, During and the Aftermath

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A 60 year storm battered Norfolk’s coastline last Thursday, wrecking businesses and homes and putting the Coastguard on full alert.

While I was in the area expecting to get “a few shots” I had no idea how destructive this tidal surge would be, let alone catch it on camera as it unfolded.  The images below are a small insight into the power of nature and the chaos this surge has caused.

For me it started around 4pm when you could see that the tide had a strength I’d not witnessed before.  This first shot was around 3.45pm….

Norwich Photography


At around 4.25 the tide was looking a bit more serious, with the odd wave sending out spray and foam over the sea wall.Norwich Photography

I popped into the Red Lion with a friend for a quick coffee and warm up as, by now, it was bitterly cold too.  We emerged around 1 hour later, still not even high tide to witness a tidal cauldron smacking into the pier and prom.  Things were looking dangerous and, not long after, the Coastguard showed up as the prom started to fill up with surges of sea spray.Norwich PhotographyNorwich PhotographyNorwich PhotographyNorwich Photography

The Coastguard were keen to get the six remaining fishermen off the pier, one of which was riding a mobility scooter, he was the first to be fetched.Norwich PhotographyNorwich PhotographyNorwich PhotographyCopyright Michael James Photo

Once a few more waves had hit the Pier entrance the prom walkway was submerged in water and at its peak this was up to 2 feet deep.Copyright Michael James Photo

At high tide the next day the full extent of the damage to the prom could be seen, with the amusement arcade with its façade ripped away and large chunks of the coastal wall, up to 8 feet in length, lay strewn across the prom. Although it had subsided, the tide was still strong enough for the damage to continue, while the Coastguard were still on alert and ensuring no-one ventured down to the, now very sorry looking, pier.
Copyright Michael James PhotoCopyright Michael James PhotoCopyright Michael James PhotoCopyright Michael James PhotoCopyright Michael James PhotoCopyright Michael James PhotoCopyright Michael James PhotoCromer PhotographerCromer PhotographerCromer PhotographerCromer PhotographerCromer PhotographerCromer PhotographerCromer PhotographerCromer PhotographerCromer PhotographerNorfolk PhotographerNorfolk PhotographerNorfolk PhotographerNorfolk PhotographerNorfolk PhotographerNorfolk PhotographerNorfolk PhotographerNorfolk PhotographerNorfolk PhotographerCromer Pier PhotographyCromer Pier PhotographyWhile workmen discussed what needed to be done, a rather optimistic sign stands nearby…..”Re-opening soon”.Cromer Pier PhotographyCromer Pier PhotographyCromer Pier PhotographyCromer Pier PhotographyThe prom and beach huts look a rather sad state and will take some time to repair. Tangled bits of beach huts lay in a twisted mess across the prom.Cromer Pier PhotographyWhile this is the quiet season, as far as tourists are concerned, it hopefully gives North Norfolk Council the opportunity to get the prom and pier back onto its feet ready for the new season as it heavily relies on the tourist pound.Cromer Pier PhotographyCromer Pier Photography

Rob - 11/12/2013 - 4:45 pm

Not the only photographer to cover this but every set I’ve seen has been unique to that particular artist. These are great. And the beauty of that sunset shot at the end with a new dawn to follow I hope! Cracking stuff!

Julie Lindau - 12/12/2013 - 10:41 pm

Fantastic photos, I live in Derbyshire, but naomi bushell is my daughter.

Martyn Oakley - 13/12/2013 - 2:21 pm

Great shots Mike

becs faircloth -bussey - 14/12/2013 - 8:40 am

Hi your pictures are amazing, will you be doing prints to sell as I would love some.

Many thanks

Becs x

Mike - 16/12/2013 - 8:22 pm

Thanks Becs, a few of these are for sale in order to raise monies for the Flood Appeal. If there are some specific shots you’re looking for please feel free to contact me directly. All the best, Mike

Mike - 16/12/2013 - 8:23 pm

Thanks Martyn! Hope you’re keeping well.

Mike - 17/12/2013 - 11:19 pm

Thanks Rob. Yup Cromer prom was a busy place over those few days…everyone had a camera round their neck.

[…] Cromer getting battered last December (here’s the blog post ) – well, it looks like it happening again.  Here’s a few shots from earlier this […]

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