Severe storm conditions affected the whole of the UK on 5/6 December 2013, with the east coast being badly affected by storm surges.
Flood Alerts were issued by the Environment Agency for the Fylde Coast, with the whole of the area from Fleetwood to Blackpool expected to be affected. Flood gates were closed and precautions taken against the high tides at midnight and noon.
The winds started to lift at 5am on Thursday 5 December, and by mid morning it was clear that there would be a problem at high tide at 12.20pm – which was also a maximum height spring tide of 9.9m.
By 11am the foam was flying at Cleveleys, with the road covered with a deep mass of quivering jelly. It’s caused by decaying algae in the seawater, which is agitated into a foam when conditions are right. You can read more about the sea foam here.
By 11.30am the waves were coming over the top of the new sea defences in front of Jubilee Ice Arena, and over the wall against Rossall Promenade. The promenade, and Jubilee Ice Arena car park was completely flooded.
The beach at Rossall Prom is considered to be one of the safest areas of sea defences on the Wyre Coastline, because of the natural, sloping shingle beach and curve of the coastline. It’s also one of the areas which ISN’T planned to be rebuilt, because of its resilience to flooding.
By noon, North and Rossall Promenade were waist deep in foam and the waves were coming over the top of the sea wall. They were reaching 15-20′ in height as the tops of them blew onto the houses and road. Take a look at this video clip
The force of the wind, which was easily 50mph, meant that the overtopping effects continued until about 1pm, although high tide was at 12.20. By that point the wind had changed direction and was coming more from the north, whereas in the morning it had been very southerly.
Waves coming over Anchorsholme Park, thanks to Cllr Paul Galley for this pic.
At Anchorsholme on the south edge of Cleveleys, the waves had been well in excess of the height of the high wall against Anchorsholme Park as you can see in this photo. This is why the promenade at Princes Way is being rebuilt with works starting early next year, because it is an area which is very prone to flooding.
The promenade was left flooded with sea water, which had apparently been coming over along the length of the sea defences and caused considerable flooding in Cleveleys, with Thornton Gate and the roads at Anchorsholme end of town being covered in flood water as far back as the tram tracks.
You can see many more photos from readers on the Visit Cleveleys Facebook page
Heavy winds continued to blow over the weekend.
Debris and logs in the road at Cleveleys after the storm and flooding
Debris and logs on the promenade at Cleveleys after the storm and flooding
Cleveleys promenade under water
Heavy concrete benches picked up and broken by the storms at Cleveleys