Staff at Natureland Seal Sanctuary were beginning their clean-up operation early this morning after the storm surge.
The Sanctuary was open for business as normal as no water had penetrated buildings.
However, Natureland director, Duncan Yeadon said: “we were very lucky to get away lightly”.
The waterway that surrounds Natureland had fortunately been totally dredged and emptied to be cleaned prior to the storm surge.
At the height of high tide, the waterway began to fill-up, as sea topped defences.
“The waterways filled up in 20 minutes of been totally empty, and they must hold hundreds of
gallons of water. Once the water had become full to the edge of the waterway, the surface water drains began to back-up”.
The sheep paddock at Natureland became totally flooded, although any animals had been moved to safety earlier.
The car park towards the rear of the building was underwater and ‘Pet’s Corner’ was also
flooded with the water rising into the penguin pools.
The sanctuary had taken necessary precautions prior to the flooding, with trailers on standby to evacuate animals and special containers for animals such as the penguins, rabbits and guinea pigs.
There was no major damage to the buildings, however, Duncan said: “Another quarter of an hour and we would have been totally flooded.”
Natureland staff were also called out to Winthorpe this morning (Friday) to a seal-pup washed onto the beach, however, when staff got there, the pup had disappeared and had most probably been swept out again into the sea.
Staff at the sanctuary are currently on standby for any seal pups, particularly any new-borns from nearby Donna Nook that have become weak or got into difficulty after the storm surge.