High tides not likely to prompt flood warnings, say Environment Agency

Keith Simpson speaks in the House of Commons

Keith Simpson speaks in the House of Commons - Credit: Archant

High spring tides on Christmas Day and Boxing Day are not likely to prompt flood warnings, the Environment Agency has said after concerns were raised in the House of Commons.

MP Keith Simpson raised concerns that there would be a tidal surge, with the flooding minister acknowledging there had been some of the highest surges for 18 years. It comes two years after Norfolk was hit by December tidal surges causing damage around the Norfolk coast.

Responding to Mr Simpson's concerns, flooding minister Rory Stewart said: 'We are facing very high spring tides at the moment. Some of the highest for 18 years.

'We need to take into account that the level of the tides themselves is not the determining factor. The low pressure systems and the wind will also have an impact.' 'The flood forecasting centre assures me that we have accurate forecasting and we have the measures in place to respond.'

A spokesperson for the Environment Agency said: 'A normal set of Spring tides are expected for the Christmas period, peaking on Boxing day. The current weather forecast shows that winds will generally be coming from a westerly direction, which means the tides for Norfolk are likely to come in below Flood Alert thresholds.'

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