People must take heed of flood warnings, Prime Minister says after Norfolk, Suffolk and Essex was put on high alert

Prime Minister Theresa May speaks during Prime Minister's Questions in the House of Commons, London.

Prime Minister Theresa May speaks during Prime Minister's Questions in the House of Commons, London. PRESS ASSOCIATION Photo. Picture date: Wednesday January 18, 2017. See PA story POLITICS PMQs May. Photo credit should read: PA Wire - Credit: PA

People must take flood warnings seriously, the Prime Minister has said after the region was put on high alert over a tidal surge last week.

Theresa May praised emergency services, armed forces and local authorities for evacuating thousands of homes along the east coast amid fears high water could put people in danger.

People in Great Yarmouth and Lowestoft were told to go home after the town emerged from the warnings unscathed after the gale force winds and higher than usual tides were expected.

The Environment Agency said after the even that things had not been as bad as they had expected because the peak surge and strongest winds and waves had not coincided in all areas.

In some areas people refused to leave their homes despite the warnings.

In Prime Minister's Questions today Matt Warman, the MP for Boston and Skegness, called on the Prime Minister to praise the emergency services for making the best possible plans and urged her to make sure the public knew to take future warnings seriously.

Mrs May said it was crucial that when warnings were given, people recognised that they were given for the very good reason that danger could take place.

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'The efforts that were put in protected tens of thousands of properties, and I am pleased to see that we have learned from the work done on previous flooding incidents. The work between the emergency services, local services and the armed forces was much better co-ordinated than has perhaps been the case in the past, so we have been able to learn from the flooding in the past,' she added.

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