High Tide

edited December 2012 in Wivenhoe Galleries
Anyone else catch this?  The highest I've seen in years, up to the door of the Rose & Crown. Highlight was some canoeists arriving at the pub door, like Wivenhoe's answer to Venetian gondolas...     Anyone have photographs?


  • Yes a few! will post when I have a mo..


  • Here are two pictures of the great wivenhoe flood this afternoon
  • Great pictures Chris.

    A classic example of being in the right place at the right time, with a camera. I've always got one with me, but sadly was not in Wivenhoe this afternoon.

    The first thought from my wife and myself echoed Simon's comment, concerning the barrier. I have plenty of similar pictures and video of such scenes, with swans swimming past the Nottage entrance, but all taken some 30 or 40 years ago - before the millions of pounds were spent on the barrier to stop this. Was it shut today, when it mattered?!
  • the barrier wasn't closed and the water levels left very little headroom to the jetty and adjacent paving. Was there an elevated water level due to barometric pressure? Any one know? see picsimage
  • Here you go, canoes and all...

  • edited December 2012
    ark - I think the high water level was simply due to a 'spring' tide.
    The tide chart below shows that we're heading out of that phase now.
    But whether there were any additional atmospheric pressures at play is a question that is not so easy to answer.
    Everything about tides and how tricky it is to predict some of them is all here:

  • Great pictures but why was the barrier not shut?  Is it not currently working?  Should I be moving my most precious things upstairs and preparing an evacuation plan in case of a tidal surge?
  • Good question! And one that only the Environment Agency can answer. But for what it is worth, although it was a high spring tide, it was pretty much in line with the astronomical predictions. Given that the weather was so calm, i could well imagine the EA took a risk-based decision not to close the barrier: after all, each closure must have cost implications.
  • I heard someone comment that there was an 'ongoing maintenance issue' with the gates at the moment, but I also recall being told, during a tour of the barrier, that closure was only to protect buildings, not gardens from flooding, or cars parked without regard to tides etc.

    Some wonderful photos; many thanks to all!

  • Good photos, shows another face of Wivenhoe.

    Was there any damage to buildings near the water? I have been told that houses near the river have their sitting rooms upstairs, while the ground floor do not have electric sockets near the floor, to guard against flooding.

    In other words, flooding is expected and included in the planning of the buildings.

  • The barrier was closed on Friday after a flood alert but not on Sun when it seems the levels weren't expected to be as high, so it looks like the barrier is working okay.

    I have also heard the rumours of houses designed for expected flooding, but stroll round the area and you'll find there are plenty of homes with ground-floor living rooms – and kitchens. I believe electric sockets are fitted higher up the wall these days because of disability/access guidelines for new-builds.
  • What a marvellous site on Sunday. Sipping my Ale in the Rose and Crown. I thought I saw approaching canoes. I did! I wonder if the barrier people were having their xmas party. Blimey!
    Enjoy the pictures. War time spirit was alive and well in Wivenhoe. The chaps trapped on the tables were brought beer by those in wellies. Excellent. We are so lucky to live here.

  • edited January 2013

  • Er, to stop floods?

    No properties were flooded so clearly the EA decided that the high tide was within manageable levels.

    There's more to the science that simply opening and shutting the barrier. If there's significant run-off closing it could cause more problems, water flows from both directions.



  • edited January 2013

  • God I hate that Sherlock phrase. It's down ther with "yeah, whatever" and "Don't go there".  

    Anyway, I understand that its main purpose is to protect Colchester from a flood surge from the sea.


    Prior to it being built the village frequetly flooded.


    Dr Watson

  • The tide charts predicted it would be a large, but not exceptionally massive tide on Sunday. The equinox tides in September were forecast to be higher than last Sundays, but it didn't turn out that way.

    How big the tide actually turns out to be is also dependent on wind and atmospheric pressure. Although what I couldn't work out was that there was hardly any wind on Sunday !

    Around this coast if you get a high tide forecast, combined with low pressure and a northerly wind, you are very likely to get an extremely big tide.

  • edited January 2013

  • A letter from the EA explaining the protocol for closing the barrier, sent via Cllr Julie Young, for publication.

    1.jpg 190.2K
    2.jpg 184.3K
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