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The Environment Agency has confirmed that the tidal storm surge is the worst since the major floods of 1953.
This is the latest advice from the Environment Agency, which has significantly increased warnings for London and the South East today:
The coastline from Wells-next-the-Sea in Norfolk to Clacton, Essex, is particularly at risk, including Great Yarmouth and Lowestoft. Parts of Great Yarmouth are being evacuated.
Severe flood warnings are currently in place across Kent.
Some defences could be overtopped by the combined effect of high tides, high winds and a large tidal surge.
In some areas, sea levels could be higher than those during the devastating floods of 1953. However, flood defences built since then - including the Thames and Hull Barriers - mean that many parts of the country are much better protected than in 1953.
Source: Environment Agency
As a tidal storm surge causes sea levels to rise, the Met Office are advising us to stay away from coast to avoid being swept out to sea.
- Flood Alert: Means flooding is possible. Prepare a flood kit. Monitor water levels and forecast
- Flood Warning: Means flooding is expected. Fit protection equipment. Move family, pets and valuables to safety
- Severe Flood Warning: Danger to life. Stay safe. Be ready to evacuate. Call 999 if in immediate danger
Looks like the Environment Agency are about to up their flood warning to the most severe for the Thames Estuary. A serious risk to life and the potential some areas could be evacuated as the tidal storm surge rises tonight and tomorrow.
Here's the latest advice from the Environment Agency on how London and the South East will be affected by the tidal surge:
- The Environment Agency will be closing the Thames Barrier on Thursday night to defend London
- It will also use another defence in place at Colne in Essex
– Dr Paul Leinster, Environment Agency
Gale force winds and large waves along the east coast of England are forecast during Thursday and Friday, coinciding with high tides and a significant coastal surge'.
Flooding of some coastal communities is expected and some defences could be overtopped by the combined effect of high tides, high winds and a tidal surge.
Coastal paths and promenades will be highly dangerous as there is an increased risk of people being swept out to sea.
The Thames Barrier will be closed tonight to protect London from a tidal storm surge which could be the highest for 30 years. Main flood risks for the Thames Estuary are tomorrow at 2.17am and 2.45pm when we have high spring tides.