Thousands evacuated amid storm surge flooding threat to Great Yarmouth

Alicia WestJan 14, 2017

The Environment Agency's severe flood warnings - its highest possible alert - are in place for coastal areas of Norfolk and Suffolk.

While the first high tide in the early hours of Friday passed without major incident, there were fears that the second tide on Friday evening could be higher than anticipated.

Dozens more flood warnings have been imposed along the east coast as it braces itself for a storm surge caused by gale-force winds and high tides.

There are now three Flood Alerts in place in London, Kent and the Sussex coast, with a combination of high tides and tidal surges with strong winds and rainfall expected today. Police officers went door to door give residents' details of the expected flood.

Residents of a village in Essex are being evacuated from their homes in the face of potential flooding due to severe weather, the fire service has said.

The evacuation of the village of Jaywick, near Clacton-on-Sea, began at 7am as three severe flood warnings - which warn of a danger to life - are in place for Friday lunchtime in coastal areas of the county.

Freezing temperatures brought chaos for commuters trying to get to and from work, with crashes in icy conditions having brought some routes to a standstill.

"And I really do urge people, I know it's hard to leave your property, and imagine things will be better if you're not there for 24 hours but it is".

He said the EA was expecting some damage to permanent flood defences, adding: "What an east coast storm stage can do is it can both damage property with very violent waves and it can also cause flooding if it breaks through flood defences on the coast".

"We understand that powerful tides can be dramatic, but please do not put yourself at unnecessary risk by going to the coast for a thrill or to take pictures".

It also urged residents to call their local council or visit a local DIY store or building supplies shop, to request sandbags to prevent flooding.

"We are prepared to take action wherever it is needed".

The Environment Agency is urging people to check their flood risk on GOV.UK and to take extreme care near the coast, avoiding walking along coastal paths and promenades if possible.

Elsewhere, the Met Office has issued severe weather warnings across England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland for combinations of high winds, snow and ice. "We have moved resources and equipment to the coast and the Army is on standby to assist if needed".

This could mean houses and roads on the east coast could be flooded.

Some people have been evacuated due to the threat.

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