Benfleet has suffered from severe flooding on several occasions due to the weather, and it's a coastal location. By far, the worst was during the disastrous floods of 1953, when the people of Benfleet were witnesses to such severe flooding that the whole of Canvey Island was submerged. The 1953 weather was the cause of many deaths in Essex. The severity of the flooding eventually led to a new network of defences designed to protect the Thameside areas and London from flooding for "a 1000 years". The Benfleet flood barrier is an integral part of these defences, and whilst we all hope that the weather conditions of 1953 are never repeated, the defences should help guard against the scale of death and damage witnessed.

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