The Environment Agency is warning communities along the east coast of England to prepare for large waves and possible flooding over the next 24 hours

Water users and those living along the east coast of England are being urged to prepare for a storm surge which is expected to hit throughout today (13 January 2017) and into tomorrow morning.

Thousands of people have already been evacuated from their homes due to warnings of large waves and possible flooding.

Counties particularly at risk include Lincolnshire, Norfolk, Suffolk and Essex.

The Environment Agency said gale force winds combining with high tides are likely to result in large waves carrying dangerous debris, like rocks.

Storm surge flood warning map

A map showing the areas most at risk. Credit: Environment Agency

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.

In addition to equipment already along the coast, Environment Agency teams have moved 7,500 metres of temporary barriers and 25 pumps to depots and towns including Newcastle upon Tyne, Blythe, Great Yarmouth, Chelmsford, Rye, and Trusthorpe and South Ferriby in Lincolnshire.

The Hull tidal barrier was in operation last night. All east coast flood gates have been closed.

The Met Office is also warning of high winds, snow and ice throughout today

National Severe Weather Warnings – United Kingdom

The national duty manager at the Environment Agency, Mark Sitton-Kent warned the public not to put themselves at risk.

“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,” he stressed.

“Please do not drive through flood water: just 30cm of flowing water is enough to move your car,” stated Sitton-Kent.

“We are prepared to take action wherever it is needed. We have moved resources and equipment to the coast and the army is on standby to assist if needed,” he added.

Those living close to the coast are being urged to check their flood risk and keep up to date with the latest situation on the GOV.UK website or by calling Floodline on 0345 988 1188.