Residents in the town of Walcott were particularly badly hit as high winds whipped the UK’s east coast over the weekend. The high winds coupled with a recent dumping of nearly three million tonnes of sand on Bacton and Walcott beaches by the local council meant nearby gardens and property were completely covered.
Footage from the area shows cars hidden under mounds of sand while some residents’ gardens were ruined.
Winds of up to 70mph hit the town on Friday and Saturday.
North Norfolk District Council said a cleanup operation is now underway.
The council put 1.8 million cubic metres of sand on two nearby beaches as part of a coastal management project.
The beach engineering programme – which the council calls a ‘sandscaping scheme’ – aims to protect homes and crucial nearby infrastructure such as the Bacton Gas Terminal from flooding.
The council said it will also improve access to the beaches as well as make them higher and wider.
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Resident Jay Durrant estimated the cleanup could take up to a week.
Others are thankful the sand damage is not as bad as the flooding it is designed to prevent.
In 2013, Walcott was hit by a North Sea surge which devastated homes and other buildings.
Norman Lamb, MP for north Norfolk, said at the time some residents had “lost everything” due to a lack of insurance.
He added: “I think this community has been hit harder than anywhere else on the north Norfolk coast and I just feel very distressed for the people involved.”
The flooding also had a severe effect on wildlife. The BBC said at the time as many as 3,000 fish including 11 sharks, six penguins and a turtle at a local sanctuary were safely relocated.
However, hundreds of seals are thought to have died in the tidal surge.
Regarding the sandstorm, Buddy Bell, founder of the Walcott, Bacton and Happisburgh Flood Support and Help Group, told Eastern Daily Press: “I would choose sand over flooding any day.”
“Sand can be brushed away. People’s homes, possessions and sewerage cannot.”
Other areas which were not affected by the sand were still hit hard by the weekend’s storm.
One north Norfolk strawberry farmer, Simon Turner, told the Fakenham & Wells Times the 70mph winds had caused a potentially six-figure sum’s worth of damage to his crops.
He said the farm was left with just seven tunnels in which strawberries grow, compared with 90 before the storms hit.