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Warning issued as groups of “spectators” reported ahead of tidal surge at Great Yarmouth

PUBLISHED: 22:14 13 January 2017 | UPDATED: 22:31 13 January 2017

Rough seas batter Walcott as dawn brakes on the Norfolk coast as spring tides, high winds and winter weather combine to cause flood warnings. People have been warned to stay away from the coastline. Simon Finlay Photography.

Rough seas batter Walcott as dawn brakes on the Norfolk coast as spring tides, high winds and winter weather combine to cause flood warnings. People have been warned to stay away from the coastline. Simon Finlay Photography.

Simon Finlay

Police are urging people to keep clear of the coast as reports have started to come in of “spectators” congregating at Pier Head in Gorleston and Great Yarmouth beach.

With a tidal surge expected in Great Yarmouth by 9.30pm this evening, emergency services are concerned of a real threat to life and are warning residents to avoid the seafronts.

Officers are on route to move the spectators on.

Despite the warnings from emergency services people have continued to visit Great Yarmouth beach, near the Marina Centre.

Two fire crews attended to survey the scene but were unable to move anyone on, instead giving them advice to stay away.

The River Yare approaching high tide in Great Yarmouth, at 8.30am on Friday 13th January 2017.
Picture: ANTONY KELLYThe River Yare approaching high tide in Great Yarmouth, at 8.30am on Friday 13th January 2017. Picture: ANTONY KELLY

Residents who have been advised to evacuate their homes are asked to heed advice from authorities and not risk by staying behind.

There are concerns for the safety of residents walking along coastal paths, clifftops and piers, with police officers urging people to stay away.

Police are also advising residents in coastal areas not to drive or walk through flooded areas if they come across any.

The warnings come as police continue to lead a multi-agency response with partners to combat the predicted combination of high tides and extreme weather which may cause disruption in the area.

The River Yare approaching high tide in Great Yarmouth, at 8am on Friday 13th January 2017.
Picture: ANTONY KELLYThe River Yare approaching high tide in Great Yarmouth, at 8am on Friday 13th January 2017. Picture: ANTONY KELLY

Chief Inspector Nathan Clark said: “It is better to be prepared for all eventualities so I would encourage anyone given advice to evacuate their home to do so, rather than take a risk.

He added: “Waves may look impressive, but it is imperative that people stay away from seafront areas tonight and into the weekend, as they will be putting themselves in harm’s way.”

Cllr Tom FitzPatrick, Leader of North Norfolk District Council said: “Staff at North Norfolk District Council have been working alongside community flood wardens, the police, fire and coastguard to help ensure people stay as safe as possible.

“Our emergency contingency team and coastal management teams have been working round the clock and have been out on the ground at Blakeney, Salthouse, Cley, Wells and Walcott working with community flood wardens to help warn and inform people.

“Our teams have gone out to close down the pier and promenade at Cromer, Sheringham Promenade, Mundesley and Overstrand seafront.

“Our property services team has been out to ensure property is as secure as possible to minimise the damage and will be out tomorrow to assess any damage caused.”

“We will continue to support our communities.”

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