MORE than 100 beach huts were swept from their standings when high tides flooded a stretch of coastline.

The chaos, in the wake of Storm Ciara, led to drivers becoming trapped on The Strood in Mersea and flooding in Brightlingsea.

Work has begun to assess the damage and start to move the huts now the water has subsided.

Beach hut owners will be written to advising them of the damage to their hut and the next steps.

Tendring Council will seek permission to return the huts to their original position.

In the first instance the huts will be moved to a secure compound to clear roads and paths which are blocked.

A council spokesman said staff had visited the seafront to assess the damage.

He said: “Inspections have revealed 112 beach huts have been moved by the high tide, to varying degrees, while some of the bases have been damaged.

“We will now be writing to all affected hut owners advising them of this, and seeking their permission to return the huts back to their positions.

“Some hut owners may have insurance and wish to make their own arrangements, or replace their hut.

“Due to the scale of the work we plan to do relocation in a phased approach, first moving huts to a secure compound so they are not obstructing roads, paths or open spaces and to allow repair work to bases, before then placing them back in situ.”

It is expected the work may take weeks or months to complete.

The spokesman added: “This will not be a simple job due to the number of huts involved and difficulties of lifting a hut other than from a base but we will carry this work out as quickly and efficiently as possible. In previous situations this has taken some months, and our initial priority will be to clear roadways.

“With this in mind we would ask people to respect road closures currently in place in the area. These are for public safety as some of the huts are in a precarious position.”