6th December 10:30 Update: Severe flood warnings remain in force

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Communities along the east coast urged to remain prepared for further flooding

Significant flooding along the east coast of England is expected to continue today (Friday), as the most serious coastal tidal surge for over 60 years will continue to affect communities today.

Parts of North Yorkshire, the East Riding of Yorkshire, Lincolnshire, Norfolk, Suffolk, Essex and Kent are at greatest risk from the combination of a large surge, high tides and large waves. The areas at risk of flooding also include the Northumberland coastline to Redcar and West Sussex.

People urged to remain vigilant

Dr Paul Leinster, Environment Agency Chief Executive, said:

“Our thoughts are with those who have been affected by flooding. We are urging people to remain vigilant, as we expect further flooding today along large parts of the east coast of England.

“The Environment Agency estimates that at least 800,000 properties have been protected by flood schemes in the past 24 hours. Flood risk management assets, including the Thames and Hull Barriers, have protected thousands of homes and businesses from sea levels higher in some places than those that occurred during the devastating floods of 1953.

“Advances in flood forecasting mean that early alerts of the tidal surge were given to emergency services, homes and businesses, allowing vital time to prepare.

“Our teams continue to work closely with partner organisations including the emergency services, Met Office and local authorities. Our teams have been out in force overnight, inspecting and repairing flood defences and barriers, monitoring sea levels and issuing flood warnings.”

Environment Agency teams working over night

Some defences could be overtopped by the combined effect of the high tides, high winds and a large tidal surge. Environment Agency teams worked through the night to make temporary repairs to a damaged wall in Boston, Lincolnshire.

The Environment Agency will again close its Thames Barrier today (Friday at 11:00) to protect London, in addition to operating numerous other defences and barriers along the coastline. Environment Agency teams and contractors are out in force inspecting and repairing any damaged sections of walls, banks and other assets. Teams will also be carrying out aerial assessments of the coast this morning.

There are currently (as of 10:00) 27 severe flood warnings in place – the Environment Agency’s highest category – with an additional 138 flood warnings and 63 flood alerts in force.

People are urged to continue to follow instructions by the emergency services, who are coordinating any evacuations. Farmers are being urged to protect their livestock and consider moving them out of affected areas.

Natural Resources Wales, the organisation responsible for flooding in Wales, has confirmed that this morning there are no flood warnings in place, but two of the less serious flood alerts remain. Prior to yesterday’s flooding, which affected hundreds of properties on the north Wales coast, approximately 4,000 properties were provided with a flood warning, allowing them to take action and prepare in advance. Natural Resources Wales continues to support the emergency services in north Wales as they help communities to recover.

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