Dartford and Gravesham residents prepared for storm that never arrived
16:19 10 December 2013
Residents prepared themselves for a flood that never came on Friday, as sandbags and floodsacks remained bone dry.
The Environment Agency (EA) had issued severe flood warnings for parts of Gravesend and Greenhithe, with high tides caused by a storm surge expected to hit homes seaward of the tidal defences.
Services on the Tilbury Riverside to Gravesend ferry were suspended and council workers joined local police and staff from the EA in protecting the areas in danger.
Residents took to Twitter in anticipation of the floods, with Dr John Stanton commenting: “Flood warnings for Greenhithe. Flat by river. Going to sleep in trunks.”
However, though the waters were visibly high, the 520-metre Thames Barrier, which was shut on both Thursday and Friday, did its job and protected homes. .
It was thought the floods could reach the same levels as in 1953, when more than 300 people died in England. A spokesman for Dartford Council said: “There are well-rehearsed plans in place and Dartford Borough Council cooperated with lead agencies – the Environment Agency and Kent Police.
“Dartford’s flood defences are substantial and prevented the tidal surge affecting the area. We are sorry to hear of the damage the floods caused further into Kent.”