Norfolk and Waveney face snow and flood warnings
- Credit: citizenside.com
Severe flood warnings remain in place in the Yarmouth area following heavy snow fall across the region.
MORE: Storm surge set to hit Norfolk and Waveney coast could be as serious as that seen in 2013The Environment Agency has issued 42 flood alerts - including 12 severe warnings - across the county.
Later today, a combination of high tides and extreme weather conditions are expected to cause large waves along the coast.
The high tide is due at Great Yarmouth at around 9.30pm today, while in Lowestoft it is expected 15 minutes later.
The police have deployed 50 police officers to Yarmouth and 200 soldiers from Nottingham have been deployed to the town.
Norfolk Fire and Rescue Service are planning to use national resources to double their capacity; this includes requesting more high volume pumps and boats. Fire and rescue officers are assisting the police with delivering safety information to the public. 40 personnel from nine fire services are assisting in Norfolk including South Wales, Herefordshire and Oxfordshire.
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Thousands of people are being evacuated from communities around the Norfolk coast, including Walcott and Salthouse.
Between 5,000 and 7,000 properties thought to be at risk are being visited by officers at Cobholm Island and Southtown areas, West bank of the River Yare between Gorleston and Ferry Hill, East bank of the River Yare from South Denes to South Quay and riverside areas between Runham Vauxhall to Scare Gap.
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The decision has been taken to evacuate more homes in the Northgate Street area of Great Yarmouth.
Three evacuation centres have been set up in Yarmouth at Caister Academy, Cliff Park Ormiston Academy and Christ Church in King Street.
Great Yarmouth Borough Council leader Graham Plant has urged people to stay safe and for those who have been advised to evacuate to leave their homes.
He said: 'Our biggest worry is people's safety and making sure they keep away from areas of greatest concern. I would advise people that if they are advised to evacuate that in the interest of their own safety that they do so and go to their nearest rest centre.
'We would not want anybody injured and we are trying to make sure that nobody is hurt by taking these provision. We want to make sure that properties are preserved, but the safety of the public is our primary concern.'
First buses in the town are due to stop running at 8pm.
In west Norfolk a precautionary evacuation notice has been issued in Heacham and Snettisham and round 20 properties could be at risk. And in north Norfolk police are concerned about Salthouse, Cley and Walcott and resources are in place for evacuation if necessary.
MORE: Council leader's message to public ahead of tidal surgeThe Environment Agency has issued four severe flood warnings for the Lowestoft and Southwold areas – which warn of a danger to life – that are forecast at about 9.45pm tonight.
In Waveney two rest centres will be opened at Water Lane Leisure Centre and Carlton Colville Community Centre in Lowestoft. Coach pick up points will be available from 2pm at Lowestoft Railway station, South Beach Pavilion, Nicholas Everitt Park and at the car park by Southwold Pier to take residents with not transport available to rest centres.
Police are warning those most at risk to move their vehicles and belongings to higher ground and check on vulnerable neighbours.
Residents living near Gorleston seafront and the river in Great Yarmouth have received automated messages telling to take young children and pets upstairs for safety for the next 24 hours.
People are advised to take care near coastal defences and avoid coastal paths and promenades.
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.'
MORE: In pictures: Snow falls across Norfolk and Waveney The worst of the snowfall across Norfolk is now thought to be over. A spokesman for Weatherquest, based at the University of East Anglia, said: 'It's now really over the eastern part of Norfolk, moving away from Norwich in the next few hours or so.'
He said wintery showers were expected to continue, especially in areas such as Cromer, Acle and Great Yarmouth, but that we may see bright patches elsewhere.
'It's possible some of those wintery showers could produce more snow overnight in the north east area of Norfolk,' he said. 'But we don't anticipate there being more than a few centimetres at most.'
He said wintery showers could wash away any salt which had been laid to prevent ic, so that we may see some icy conditions, with temperatures as low as -3c.
'There are going to be strong winds as well, to near gale force, 50 to 60mph gales are possible in North Norfolk, and there are lots of Environment Agency warnings over tide levels.'