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'Heartbreaking' scenes at Winterton as village is among hardest hit by storm

PUBLISHED: 07:48 10 January 2019 | UPDATED: 11:22 10 January 2019

Wild weather at Winterton as seen from the car park looking down at the tank traps Picture: Liz Coates

Wild weather at Winterton as seen from the car park looking down at the tank traps Picture: Liz Coates

Archant

Winterton felt the full force of the region's wild weather this morning with onlookers describing as "heartbreaking" the amount of land being lost.

Fencing on the beach at Winterton Picture: Liz CoatesFencing on the beach at Winterton Picture: Liz Coates

Giant waves people at the scene said were the biggest they had witnessed in 20 years pounded the dunes, piled up by strong northerly winds.

Near to the beach fierce gusts were strong enough to rock cars and topple the unsteady.

At the shoreline there was devastation with rows of 1941 tank traps exposed, angry seas grabbing at the dunes, and routes north completely cut off.

One person said some 10ft of car park had been lost, and just north of it waves had carved a huge new crescent in the cliffs as they remodelled the coastline.

Rough seas have grabbed a chunk of land north of the car park at Winterton Picture: Liz CoatesRough seas have grabbed a chunk of land north of the car park at Winterton Picture: Liz Coates

There was speculation that a growing sandbank at Winterton Ness was exposing the area around the cafe which was taking the brunt of the stormy weather.

Waves had reportedly come half way up the access slope from Beach Road.

This morning sturdy fencing and green netting lay at the bottom of the cliffs where it had fallen overnight.

Jan Bowles cafe owner described the scenes at “heartbreaking.”

The new face of erosion at WintertonThe new face of erosion at Winterton

She said she anticipated The Dunes would be open at the weekend and was keen to hammer home the safety message about keeping away from crumbling dunes.

One man said he had never seen anything like it.

The water he said had rarely come so close to the cafe with such force, showing just how tough the challenge was to those trying to battle coastal erosion.

A string of dog walkers and weather watchers with their mobile phones braved the elements to see for themselves the violence being unleashed at the popular spot, which seemed to be among the hardest hit.

Once the weather eases efforts will be made to clear the beach of plastic debris, particularly the green mesh fencing.

The tank traps were laid at the top of the cliffs in 1941 but over the years have been repositioned to create a sea defence.

MORE: ‘Green welly brigade’ plunges seaside village into parking chaos

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