Evacuation plans in place after severe flood alert for Lowestoft

The waves near to Tides Reach in Lowestoft during the tidal surge of December 5, 2013

The waves near to Tides Reach in Lowestoft during the tidal surge of December 5, 2013 - Credit: Archant

A severe flood alert has been issued for Lowestoft tomorrow evening.

Notleys in Lowestoft during the tidal surge of December 5, 2013

Notleys in Lowestoft during the tidal surge of December 5, 2013 - Credit: Archant

At about 9pm on Friday there is anticipated severe flooding at Lowestoft seafront and docks, the north bank of Lake Lothing, Oulton Broad near Mutford Lock, Southwold and surrounding marshes and Snape, Iken and surrounding marshland

The Suffolk Resilience Forum is warning residents and businesses in the affected areas to be prepared.

Specific areas have been identified as being at high risk of flooding and plans are in place for the evacuation of homes, businesses and other properties in those areas.

Superintendent Kerry Cutler, of 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 encouraged to find alternative accommodation outside of the affected areas or make their way to the nearest rest centre well in advance of the high tide times.

'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.

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'I would urge people to monitor the local media and the Environment Agency website to ensure they keep up to date with any developments.'

Rest centres will be open from 2pm tomorrow. They include Water Lane Leisure Centre, Water Lane, Lowestoft; Carlton Colville Community Centre, Hall Road, Carlton Colville and Leiston Leisure Centre, Red House Lane, Leiston.

Police officers will be visiting homes in the affected areas between now and tomorrow morning with details of local rest centres and an information leaflet.

Anyone who needs help with transport to a rest centre, or for more information, contact Suffolk County Council's helpline on 03456 032814, which is open from 8am on Friday, January 13.

For updates follow Suffolk Police Twitter @SuffolkPolice

The following advice is offered by the Suffolk Resilience Forum for those preparing for evacuation:

? Stay calm and do not panic.

? Police officers and / 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 / 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 any instructions to leave the property.

? 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 – sandbags are not available via local authorities

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

? Residents in the areas likely to be affected are advised to review advice from the Environment Agency on preparing your property for flooding by visiting www.environment-agency.gov.uk/homeandleisure/floods/31644.aspx.

? People can also find out more information by calling the Environment Agency's Floodline on 0845 988 1188.

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