Calls for investment in East Anglia’s flooding infrastructure are intensifying, following the wettest February on record for the region.

Despite being one of the most at-risk regions to flooding, the east of England has one of the highest proportion of rundown flood defences in England.

Almost one in 11 are considered “poor” or “very poor” by Environment Agency inspectors.

Eastern Daily Press: Bridge Road in Great Yarmouth was severely flooded over the weekend (Image: Chris Thompson)Bridge Road in Great Yarmouth was severely flooded over the weekend (Image: Chris Thompson) (Image: Submitted)

The proportion of critical assets in disrepair has almost trebled in this area since 2018, leaving thousands of homes and businesses more vulnerable to storms.

And with rainfall expected to break records this month, the consequences are being felt across Norfolk and Suffolk.

READ MORE: SHOCKING aerial shots show Broads villages underwater after flooding

Over the weekend, downpours left major roads including the A47 impassable due to flooding, with people living near Downham Market spotted using kayaks to cross waterlogged routes.

But despite the dire need for updated flooding infrastructure, the region is still missing the funding required to pull it off.

Eastern Daily Press: Councillor Kay Yule (middle) said the loss of funding has left the town defenceless (Image: Newsquest)Councillor Kay Yule (middle) said the loss of funding has left the town defenceless (Image: Newsquest) (Image: Newsquest)

Last month a scheme to build a huge flood barrier to protect Lowestoft’s outer harbour from sea surges was halted suddenly after costs soared.

Around £124m in additional funding is needed to construct the barrier but with "crippling" increases in the costs of building materials, labour, design changes and inflation, East Suffolk Council bosses have been forced to put it on pause. 

READ MORE: Supercharge East: Our demands for the future government

Kay Yule, the council's cabinet member for planning and coastal protection, said: "The business case for the barrier could not be clearer.

"In 2013 the town suffered significant tidal flooding of homes, businesses and critical infrastructure and without the scheme, were the same event to occur again, the overall cost of the damage to Lowestoft could reach £168m.”

The project team has already engaged with both the government and the Environment Agency to seek the necessary funding needed to complete the project but a decision is not likely to come soon, officials say.

A Defra spokesman said: "We are investing a record £5.2bn between 2021-27 to better protect communities from flooding right across the country, including in Lowestoft, and will continue working with the council and other partners to help them develop a viable and affordable proposal."

This article is part of our Supercharge East campaign, brought to you in association with the Eastern Daily Press and Greater Anglia.