The Environment Agency is warning communities on the East Coast of England to stay vigilant as the risk of flooding increases this evening.
Gale force winds combining with this evening’s high tides, dangerous waves and a coastal surge mean Lincolnshire, Norfolk, Suffolk and Essex are particularly at risk. The flood risk will continue in the far south-east on Saturday morning.
Overnight and into this morning, the Environment Agency’s flood defences have protected over 170,000 properties from coastal flooding. The Hull Barrier has been operated for this morning’s tide and will be operated again later today. The Thames Barrier is expected to be closed this evening and at lunchtime tomorrow.
In addition to permanent flood defences, the Environment Agency has moved over 8 kilometres of temporary barriers and 25 pumps to depots and towns including Great Yarmouth, Chelmsford, Ely, Newcastle upon Tyne, Blythe, Rye and South Ferriby in Lincolnshire. The army is assisting the police as part of the multi-agency response and are on standby to help the Environment Agency set up temporary flood barriers if needed.
Mark Sitton-Kent, National Duty Manager at the Environment Agency, said:
The combination of gale force winds, high tides, dangerous waves carrying rocks and a coastal surge means parts of the East Coast are extremely dangerous. We have issued severe flood warnings and urge everyone to check their flood risk and ensure they are in a safe place.
Our thoughts are with all those who are currently facing another uncertain day and night. We ask anyone tempted to go to the coast for a thrill or to take pictures to stay away, you would be putting yourself in unnecessary danger.
The Environment Agency is prepared to take action wherever it is needed. We have moved an additional 8 kilometres of temporary barriers and 25 pumps to the East Coast and the army is on standby to assist with the response.
People should check their flood risk and keep up to date with the latest situation at https://www.gov.uk/check-if-youre-at-risk-of-flooding call Floodline on 0345 988 1188 or follow @EnvAgency and #floodaware on Twitter for the latest flood updates.
The flood warnings page on GOV.UK is updated every 15 minutes: https://flood-warning-information.service.gov.uk/warnings#severe-flood-warnings