We'd heard that there was some significant damage in the Rye Harbour Nature Reserve due to Thursday night's storm surge, so we wandered down there at high tide today for a look... What's worth knowing is that this road was built in the 1940s and this is the first time the sea has ever come over it. That tells us something about the magnitude of this storm surge and the rise in sea levels over the past 60 years (about 10cm, or 4")...
There's also a video that some of the staff took of it at high tide on Friday:
What seems to have happened is that the tide got high enough to wash over the top of the road and plunge over the other side - there are several points where there are holes created by the water:
with the scoured shingle from under the road spread out beyond them:
But in some places the scouring went a bit further...
One of the passing places has collapsed:
and in another area the scouring caused the whole road to cave in:
this of course led to more scouring on the upstream side of the collapsed road:
and then scenes like this:
Parts of the road are now some distance away...
and another slab is a bit lower than it used to be:
The force of the water had also pushed the fence over and uncovered an electricity cable:
Part of me wishes I'd been there on Thursday night to watch it happen, but it probably wouldn't have been the safest place to be... Bizarrely I may have been the last person to cross this bit of road before it fell in, as I went for a night-time bike ride down there on Thursday evening (with some very bright LED lights) and crossed this part of the road at about 9:30pm - it would have caved in at about 1am.