Storm Surge Warning Management

Juvre Dike breached after the storm surge in 1999
Juvre Dike breached after the storm surge in 1999
In cooperation with the police and the municipalities along the west coast of Jutland, the Danish Coastal Authority has established a storm surge warning management system concerning two coastal lowland areas:
The Wadden Sea and the central stretch of the West Coast. 
Breached dunes at Fjand on the West Coast after the storm surge in 1981
Breached dunes at Fjand on the West Coast after the storm surge in 1981
Although the protection schemes in the two areas anticipate that the likelihood of flooding is very little, flooding as a result of dike or sand dune failure cannot be completely ruled out in case of storm surges, and it may be necessary to evacuate the inhabitants of the areas.
The purpose of the Danish storm surge warning management is to avoid the loss of lives and prevent or limit the devastating effect on material assets of a storm surge.
The Danish Coastal Authority’s warning centre in Lemvig is manned 24/7 throughout the year.

The tasks of the Danish Coastal Authority in connection with the storm surge warning management are:

  • to have supervisory control with dikes and sand dunes
  • to monitor weather forecasts and water levels development along the coast
  • to assess and analyse storm surge forecasts from The Danish Institute of Meteorology
  • to introduce different alert levels and inform other related actors
  • to provide technical advice to the other actors
  • to inspect exposed areas after the storm surge
Warning criteria and possible actions are different whether it is on the West Coast or in the Wadden Sea, and thus the warning management is organized in two independent internal Coastal Authority units.
In November 2010, the Danish Coastal Authority and other Danish and German partners carried out a large-scale storm surge warning management exercise, the DanGer Flood Ex 2010, which simulated an extreme storm surge situation with water levels around 5 m above normal and high winds causing dike failure.
The exercise was a follow-up on the EU "Chain of Safety" project from 2006-2008, and included the Schleswig-Holstein Interior Ministry and the Danish Coastal Authority. The project included alert planning and reciprocal cross-border assistance in connection with sea flooding.