A combination of a high spring tide and a severe wind over the North Sea caused a storm surge . The combination of wind and high tide had the effect that the water level exceeded 5.6 metres (18.4 ft) above mean sea level in some locations. The flood and waves overwhelmed sea defences and caused extensive flooding.
In Essex, Canvey Island was inundated with the loss of 58 lives and another 37 died when the seafront village of Jaywick near Clacton was flooded.
The Environment Agency has said that, despite major improvements to sea defences and warning systems, 1.3m people or one in 25 homes in England and Wales remained at risk of coastal flooding.
Have we done enough in Essex to ensure it will not happen again?