Video: Norfolk and Suffolk floods latest - Police warn of 36 hours of disruption

Wild seas at Walcott earlier this month. Photo: Antony Kelly

Wild seas at Walcott earlier this month. Photo: Antony Kelly - Credit: Archant

Police are warning there is likely to be 36 hours of disruption across Norfolk and Suffolk as a result of the floods expected to hit the region this evening.

Police are warning there is likely to be 36 hours of disruption across Norfolk and Suffolk as a result of the floods expected to hit the region this evening.

The Environment Agency has issued 25 severe flood warnings across East Anglia, and in both Norfolk and Suffolk the emergency services and local authorities are working together and activating flood response plans.

Indications are that the high tides are likely to start in King's Lynn at around 7pm.

People living in Great Yarmouth are being told to prepare to evacuate their homes by the Environment Agency, while in north Norfolk people living near Wells' quayside are being told to evacuate their homes ahead of the predicted floods this evening.

The Environment Agency has said that the tides later today look set to be worse than the high tides of 2007.

There are severe flood warnings - classified as warnings for 'Severe flooding. Danger to life - for areas including: Southtown and Cobholm Island; Salthouse; Blakeney; Wells Quay; Walcott; Southwold and surrounding marshes; Aldeburgh and Thorpeness; Blythburgh and marshes upstream of A12; Riverside Business Park & Kirkley; North Bank of Lake Lothing; South Bank of Lake Lothing, Bourne Business Park to Mutford Lock; Oulton Broad near Mutford Lock; Lowestoft Seafront and Docks; River Bure from Scare Gap to the Euro Centre Industrial Estate; River Yare in Great Yarmouth at South Denes from Wimpey Quay to the sea; River Yare at Great Yarmouth from the pilot station to Lower Ferry and from South Quay to Phillips Quay; Rivers Yare and Bure at Great Yarmouth from South Quay to Bure Park including Runham, Newton and North Denes; River Yare at Great Yarmouth from Gorleston to the pilot station and from Lower Ferry to Breydon Bridge.

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The Environment Agency has also issued a number of flood warnings and flood alerts across the region.

Norfolk's Deputy Chief Constable Charlie Hall, who is leading the multi-agency response to the floods in Norfolk, said: 'We would like to reassure residents that Norfolk has tried and tested flood response plans which are being put in place, in line with Environment Agency advice.'

A Norfolk police spokesman added: 'All plans are in consideration including full evacuation. We would like to reassure property owners that they will receive a personal visit from a police officer or member of police staff should they be required to evacuate.

'It is anticipated disruption is likely to last for 36 hours and local communities will be kept updated throughout.'

Responding to the severe flood alerts in Wells Harbour and Salthouse on the north Norfolk Coast, North Norfolk MP Norman Lamb said: 'The tidal surge expected will be higher than during the floods in 2007. This is a serious incident, and I am glad that the Environment Agency and Norfolk County Council are working closely with local flood wardens to monitor the situation and ensure that local people are protected. I have been in contact with councillor Marie Strong and with the area manager at the Environment Agency, Charles Beardall. The Prime Minister has also convened Cobra in London to manage the Government's response to the weather.

'I would urge people in at-risk areas across North Norfolk, in particular Wells, Blakeney, Salthouse, and Walcott, to monitor local updates, and to keep away from areas of danger – in particular coastal paths and the seafront. It is also critically important that people listen to instructions from flood wardens and the police and that, if they need to evacuate their houses, they follow instructions promptly and safely.'

In Suffolk, as a result of the nine severe flood warnings issued by the Environment Agency in relation to the county's coastline a major incident (Operation Fulstone) was declared by the Suffolk Resilience Forum 7:30am.

David Skevington, Assistant Chief Constable Suffolk Constabulary, said: 'The most recent modelling by the Environment Agency has made it clear that areas of the Suffolk Coastline and surrounding residential and commercial properties are likely to be affected by flood waters. Officers from agencies across the county are working together to ensure the risk to residents in those areas is kept to a minimum. It is important that residents listens to the advice and direction that is given to them by officers on the ground and take the appropriate action.

'Rest centres are being set up to ensure there is somewhere safe for people to remain for the duration of the incident.

'We anticipate a number of roads will be closed later today due to flooding. I would urge people to monitoring the local media and the environment agency website to ensure they keep up to date with any developments.'

In Great Yarmouth, residents who received early morning phone calls warning them of possible evacuation have been stocking up on sandbags, torches and candles. Some homes in Cobholm and Southtown are moving furniture and belongings upstairs in case rising waters break through.

Garfield Road residents Amanda Dyer said: 'I had the call at 5:30am. I'm between the river and sea - not looking good at the moment. My husband is out getting boards ready for the doors and looking for old pillow cases to use as sandbags.'

Tara Reid of Gorleston said: 'I got an automated phone call from the environment agency at 5:40am this morning which woke me up, warning us about possible evacuation but fingers crossed it won't happen to us.

'Hope it isn't as bad as what everyone is saying it's going to be.'

At 11am, Great Yarmouth Borough Council confirmed sandbags and sand would be provided – but at limited locations across the town.

'Sand drops will be located around the town at the following locations. Sand and bags will be provided, residents will need to bring their own shovels,' a spokesman said.

The sand drops will be at: Southgate Road at the junction of South Quay/Friars Road; Runham Vauxhall at the junction of North River Road; Quay Road, Gorleston; Beach Coach Station; Pasteur Road.

Further information about rest centres and evacuation procedures is expected shortly.

Meanwhile Flegg High School in Martham is to close early ahead of the bad weather.

A statement on the school website said: 'Due to extreme weather conditions we have been advised to close the school and students will start to leave the site from 12pm.

'Buses will start collecting students from this time.'

Waveney District Council has cancelled a scheduled meeting for this evening.

A spokesman said: 'Due to the developing weather event, tonight's Overview and Scrutiny meeting has been cancelled.

'The flood risk warnings for Lowestoft have resulted in tonight's Waveney District Council Overview and Scrutiny meeting being cancelled. A date for the meeting to continue will be arranged within due course.'

Areas where flood warnings - classified as 'Flooding is expected. Immediate action required' and a step down from the severe flood warnings - have been issued across the Anglia region this morning by the Environment Agency include:

• Tidal River Wang including Wangford

• Benacre Marshes and Kessingland Beach

• Walberswick, Dunwich and surrounding marshes

• Marshland behind Minsmere Sluice including Middleton and Sizewell

• Morston

• Cley-next-the-Sea

• Burnham

• The seafront at Great Yarmouth from Salisbury Road to the Pleasure Beach

• The coast from Sheringham to Winterton On Sea

• Brancaster

• Thornham

• Brancaster Staithe

• Old Hunstanton

Areas where flood alerts - classified as 'Flooding is possible. Be prepared.' - have been issued include:

• Tidal River Yare from Thorpe St Andrew to Breydon Water

• Tidal River Waveney from Ellingham to Breydon Water

• Tidal Rivers Bure from Wroxham Bridge, Ant from Honing and Thurne from Hickling to Breydon Water

• West Norfolk next to the tidal River Great Ouse between Denver and King's Lynn and the coast between King's Lynn and Hunstanton

• Tidal flooding of areas near the Lincolnshire Coastline from Tetney Haven to Gibraltar Point

• Southwold

• Great Yarmouth

• The coast from Lowestoft to Bawdsey

• The coast from Sheringham to Winterton

• The coast from Old Hunstanton to Weybourne

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