Floods latest: Evacuation operation under way along the Suffolk coast

An archive photo of previous flooding at Lowestoft seafront. Photo: Nick Butcher An archive photo of previous flooding at Lowestoft seafront. Photo: Nick Butcher

Thursday, December 5, 2013
2:59 PM

People living in about 1,000 properties on the Suffolk coastline are being encouraged to evacuate as a tidal surge travels down the county this evening.

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Where possible, people living in the severe flood risk areas identified by the Environment Agency should make arrangements to stay with friends or family outside the affected areas.

The areas expected to be affected by flooding this evening include: Lowestoft seafront and docks; North bank of Lake Lothing; Oulton Broad near Mutford Lock; Aldeburgh and Thorpeness; Snape, Iken and surrounding marshland; Riverside Business Park and Kirkley; Blythburgh and marshes upstream of A12; South bank of Lake Lothing from Bourne Business Park to Mutford Lock and Southwold and surrounding marshland.

The Suffolk Resilience Forum has organised rest centres in the county for people who are unable to make alternative arrangements.

There will be rest centres open from 4pm at Water Lane Leisure, in Water Lane, Lowestoft, and at Carlton Colville Village Hall, in Hall Road, Carlton Colville.

Police officers are in the process of visiting the affected properties, asking residents to evacuate and giving details of their nearest rest centre.

Discussions are ongoing with community groups to identify if other centres need to be opened.

David Skevington, Assistant Chief Constable for Suffolk Constabulary, said: “We are taking this matter extremely seriously and would urge people in the areas likely to be affected to do the same. Rest centres have been established in the county and people in those areas are encourage to find alternative accommodation outside of the affected areas or make their way to the nearest rest centre.”

“We continue to work with agencies both locally, regionally and nationally to make sure we are in the best possible position to safeguard Suffolk people.

“We anticipate a number of roads will be closed later today due to flooding. I would urge people to monitoring the local media and the environment agency website to ensure they keep up to date with any developments. “

Suffolk police is offering the following advice for those preparing for evacuation:

• Stay calm and do not panic.

• Police officers or other officials will try to visit all properties at risk to advise on the requirement to evacuate.

• If road conditions permit, move vehicles to unaffected areas, for example higher ground and ask friends or family if you can share their parking facilities.

• You will hear about your evacuation point for transport and the location of the reception centre either verbally or by a leaflet.

• Try to check that any elderly/vulnerable family members or neighbours know about the evacuation.

• Try to inform family members/friends as to where you are evacuating.

• Listen to the advice of the authorities and follow instructions.

• Take special foods and medicines.

• Switch off gas and electricity.

• If possible, move electrical equipment and furniture upstairs.

• Any furniture that you cannot move upstairs, try to raise well off the floor.

• Do not forget to lock all doors and windows.

• Block doorways and air bricks.

• Avoid walking and driving through floodwater, there could be hidden hazards.

Agencies involved in the Suffolk Resilience Forum includes the police and fire and rescue services, East of England Ambulance Service, Environment Agency, Suffolk County Council, Waveney District Council and Suffolk Coastal District Council.

People if affected areas can find out more by calling the Environment Agency’s Floodline on 0845 988 1188 or visiting www.environment-agency.gov.uk

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