Parts of the South East have been hit by flooding overnight following a tidal surge. The Environment Agency is warning communities and businesses to remain vigilant as they are still at significant risk of coastal flooding this afternoon.
In Kent around 500 homes were evacuated in areas including Sandwich, Seasalter and Faversham. The port of Dover had to close in the early hours due to a partial power cut but is now open. Our reporter John Ryall spent the night in Sandwich.
Flooding at Halling Marsh, close to the River Medway in Kent.
The tidal surge caused flooding at Sandwich in Kent overnight.
The Thames Barrier will close for a second time today to protect London from the high tide, according to the Environment Agency.
Parts of Kent have been affected by the severe weather.
John Ryall sent us this latest report:
Parts of Kent could be hit by the worst floods seen in the county for 60 years overnight. That's the warning tonight from the Environment Agency.
The most severe warning possible - danger to life - has been issued for Sandwich near Deal. Gravesend, Medway and Seasalter are also at high risk of serious flooding. In all, between 1,500 and 2,000 coastal and riverside homes are said to be in danger.
A number of factors are combining to cause concern. High winds are coinciding with high spring tides causing a prolonged surge down the east coast and into the Channel.
The high risk times are just before 1 o'cock in the morning - the area most at risk is The Quay at Sandwich, where the Environment Agency says flood defences are likely to be breached. Sarah Saunders reports.
There is more information about the flood warnings on the Environment Agency website.
Dover District Council is working with Kent Police and partner agencies to evacuate 178 properties in Sandwich.
A door-to-door evacuation is taking place. If you are not informed that you need to evacuate, then there is no need to do so at this stage. If you are asked to evacuate, please ensure your property is secure, including switching off any gas and electricity supply. Please take any necessary items with you, including medication.
If you have been told to evacuate and choose not to go to the Rest Centre or elsewhere, please make sure you inform relatives.
Dover District Council has set up a Rest Centre at the Sandwich Sport & Leisure Centre (Sandwich Technology College) on Deal Road, Sandwich."
Due to strong winds our Dover/Calais/Dover services are running between 60 and 90 minutes behind schedule.
The Environment Agency have updated their severe flood warnings. There are not 3 warnings in Kent.
- Properties seaward of the tidal defences in Gravesend, Denton and Greenhithe
- Coastal areas from Higham Marshes to Seasalter, excluding Sheerness and Queenborough
- The Quay, Sandwich