Norfolk and Suffolk’s emergency services prepare to activate flood response plans

Storm Jude hits Lowestoft in October. The storm strikes Lowestoft seafront. Storm Jude hits Lowestoft in October. The storm strikes Lowestoft seafront.

Thursday, December 5, 2013
10:29 AM

Norfolk and Suffolk’s emergency services and local authorities are activating flood response plans in preparation for the extreme weather expected to hit the county this evening.

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The Environment Agency has this morning issued a number of severe flood warnings and flood warnings for a number of coastal areas.

The areas predicted to be the worst hit in Norfolk this evening include the Southtown area of Great Yarmouth, Walcott, Salthouse, Wells Quay, Blakeney, and the north-west Norfolk coast from King’s Lynn to Hunstanton.

For the past 24 hours agencies in Norfolk, including emergency services and all local authorities, have been working with the Environment Agency to put well-rehearsed contingency plans in place to respond to the flood risk and protect those communities affected.

Norfolk’s Deputy Chief Constable Charlie Hall, who is leading the multi-agency response, said: “Norfolk has tried and tested flood response plans which are currently in the process of being activated, in line with Environment Agency advice.

“A multi-agency co-ordinating group has been convened twice to ensure appropriate plans and resources are in place.

“The group is planning for potential disruption for a prolonged period of up to 36 hours and households in those affected areas should be mindful of this.”

In Suffolk, as a result of the nine severe flood warnings issued by the Environment Agency in relation to the county’s coastline a major incident (Operation Fulstone) was declared by the Suffolk Resilience Forum 7:30am.

Senior officers from key agency from across Suffolk have been meeting with the key aim of safeguarding the people of Suffolk and protecting property as far as is possible.

About 1,000 properties in the north of the county are likely to be affected in areas including Lowestoft seafront and docks, the 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, Southwold and surrounding marshland.

David Skevington, Assistant Chief Constable Suffolk Constabulary, said: “The most recent modelling by the Environment Agency has made it clear that areas of the Suffolk Coastline and surrounding residential and commercial properties are likely to be affected by flood waters. Officers from agencies across the county are working together to ensure the risk to residents in those areas is kept to a minimum. It is important that residents listens to the advice and direction that is given to them by officers on the ground and take the appropriate action.

“Rest centres are being set up to ensure there is somewhere safe for people to remain for the duration of the incident.

“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 officers are attempting to make contact with the owners of properties in the affected areas to provide details of the action that needs to be taken. A leaflet containing key information has been produced and is being handed out.

A further four severe flood warnings relating to the eastern area of the county have more recently been issued by the Environment Agency and the Suffolk Resilience Forum is now working through plans for the following areas: Tidal Orwell, Ipswich; Felixstowe Ferry and Bawdsey Quay; Isolated riverside properties on the Deben Estuary; Felixstowe Ferry Hamlet and the Deben Marshes.

The Suffolk agencies working together include the police and fire services, the East of England Ambulance Service, Environment Agency, Suffolk County Council, Waveney District Council, and Suffolk Coastal District Council.

• People are being warned to be on the alert for any further warnings from the Environment Agency.

Any households directly affected will be contacted in person, in due course, according to their local flood management plan.

For more information call the Environment Agency’s Floodline on 0845 988 1188 for further information.

Photo gallery: Huge Norfolk evacuation operation begins from Hunstanton to Great Yarmouth

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Communities across Norfolk and Suffolk urged to brace themselves for severe weather




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