Flood risk: Agency advises precautionary evacuation

Families living in parts of the north-west Norfolk coastal region were today urged to evacuate their homes because of the threat of floods.Five flood warnings are now in place along the Norfolk coast, from the Hunstanton, Snettisham and Heacham area in the west to Winterton in the north-east.

Families living in parts of north-west Norfolk coastal region were today urged to evacuate their homes because of the threat of floods.

A Precautionary Evacuation Notice (PEN) was issued by the Environment Agency for caravans and bungalows between Snettisham and Hunstanton. The region is braced for high spring tides at 7.14pm tonight and coupled with strong northerly winds, experts fear that could lead to flooding. People are being advised to leave their caravans and bungalows between 4.14pm and 10.14pm and not return until it is safe to do so.

An agency spokesman said: “The evacuation is a precautionary measure, but should be followed so that if there is a flood, emergency services are not put at risking trying to find people who have stayed in their homes.”

The PEN for the area between Snettisham and Hunstanton has been issued by the agency in conjunction with Norfolk police and King's Lynn and West Norfolk Borough Council.

Five flood warnings are now in place along the Norfolk coast, from the Hunstanton, Snettisham and Heacham area in the west to Winterton in the north-east.

The rest of the coastline remains under watch, including the Wash and King's Lynn, the east coast including Yarmouth and Lowestoft, plus along the rivers Waveney, Yare, Bure, Ant and Thurne.

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Flood barriers at King's Lynn and the Thames have been closed as a preventative measures.

Areas such as Wells and Blakeney have seen sea water washing on to quaysides and car parks over the past few days due to the spring equinox tides and northerly winds.

Damage appeared around the county from this morning's tides appeared to be fairly minor and the coastguard said this morning they had not been called out to any major incidents.

Cromer Pier was closed for a short time due to some minor damage to the wooden slats caused by the size of the waves.

Seawater broke over the coast road wall at Walcott to produce some quite dramatic scenes, although there was no road closure necessary.

And at Cley local wildlife wardens were assessing some relatively minor damage to the shingle sea defences.

t For further information and booklets on how to prepare for flooding, and what to do if you are flooded, contact the Environment Agency's Floodline on 0845 988 1188 or visit www.environment-agency.gov.uk/floodline/