Early in the day of the 13th January 2017, the police started advising residents that there would be a need to evacuate some houses in Aldeburgh due to an expected tidal surge in the evening. Aldeburgh RRT contacted Ipswich RRT and agreed that we would work together with Ipswich providing the Rapid Deployment Trailer and some support. They contacted both Aldeburgh town council and Snape village council, Aldeburgh asked us to set up a base in the Church hall in the town and provide food for the Emergency Services and people who chose to shelter there due to the evacuation.
The residents in the village of Snape contacted the RRT to ask if there were any sand bags available. RRT arranged for two tonnes of sand to be delivered and 300 RRT sandbags were provided. Another team filled these and made the houses safe in the village before the surge came.
In Aldeburgh, the trailer was set up by the Church Hall and the council gave RRT the free use of the hall to heat up food and provide all that was needed by 5.30 pm. Teams went out to the emergency services in the town and made them aware of where we were and what we could offer and during the evening word spread amongst the fire service and the coastguard. From 21.00hrs there was a steady stream of emergency personnel through the door who were all glad of somewhere warm where they could congregate and plan the next few hours with the bonus of plenty of hot food and drink.
Several town councillors and good number of local residents also came during the evening. Local supermarkets, Tesco & Co-Op, kindly donated food.
By 11.30 high tide had been reached and due to the wind having dropped slightly in the previous hours the expected tidal surge was not as high as had been feared, so with the danger passed.
Aldeburgh town council expressed their gratitude by a letter from the Mayor and were extremely keen to continue working with RRT in the future. The letter reads as follows: