A severe flood warning has been issued for Great Yarmouth tonight (Friday 13 January) with additional flood warnings in place for the rest of the Norfolk coastline.
Norfolk Police is working with partners to lead a multi-agency response as a combination of high tides and extreme weather is expected to cause disruption.
The Environment Agency has severe flood warnings in place for a number of coastal areas in Norfolk, with high water expected to peak in Yarmouth at about 9.15pm.
For the past 24 hours agencies in Norfolk, including emergency services and all local authorities, have been working with the Environment Agency to put well-rehearsed contingency plans in place to protect those communities affected.
Any households directly affected will be contacted in person, in due course, according to their local flood management plan.
The public should be on the alert for any further warnings from the Environment Agency.
It is anticipated disruption is likely to last for 12 hours and local communities will be kept updated throughout.
Locations currently identified as likely to be most affected are Great Yarmouth, Wells, Walcott, Salthouse and King’s Lynn.
People in these locations should call the Environment Agency’s Floodline on 0845 988 1188 for further information.
Superintendent Dave Buckley, who is leading the multi-agency response, said: “Norfolk has tried and tested flood response plans which are currently in the process of being activated, in line with Environment Agency advice.
“A multi-agency co-ordinating group has been convened twice to ensure appropriate plans and resources are in place.
“The group is planning for potential disruption for a prolonged period of up to 12 hours and households in those affected areas should be mindful of this.
“I would also urge members of the public not to put themselves at risk by gathering near to the water’s edge to watch the waves – while I accept they may be impressive you are putting yourself in dangers way. We would ask people to keep away from the seafront and flood water.”
Properties in South Yarmouth, North Yarmouth, Caister, Southtown and Cobholm areas are being evacuated from 10am this morning with additional police resources drafted in alongside military personnel to visit those homes directly affected – this is about 5,000 properties.
Rest centres have been set up in Great Yarmouth and Gorleston – Cliff Park Academy, Kennedy Avenue, Gorleston, NR31 6TA, will be open from 10am and dedicated to vulnerable members of the community. Ormiston Venture Academy, Oriel Avenue, Gorleston, NR31 7JJ, and Christ Church, King Street, Great Yarmouth, NR30 2HL, will both open from 12pm (midday) today.
Great Yarmouth Borough Council is making available a limited supply of sand and empty bags at the below locations. People who want sandbags will be required to fill the bags themselves with the sand provided. Please bring a spade. The pick-up points will be operational from 10am this morning.
· Brush Quay, Gorleston
· Beach Coach Station car park, Great Yarmouth
· The car park at Cobholm, off Pasteur Road, close to Topps Tiles
· South Quay, opposite Friars Lane, Great Yarmouth
· Runham, on the corner of Runham Road and North River Road
In Wells, Pinewood Caravan Park has evacuated a number of touring vans
The flood barrier at Wells has been closed.
Walcott – between 20 and 30 properties are likely to be affected and the coast road will be closed.
North Norfolk District Council officers will be out at Salthouse, Walcott and Wells and working with community flood wardens to keep a watching brief on the situation on the ground. Should an evacuation be required, or if the Flood Warning is increased to a Severe Flood Warning for North Norfolk then community flood wardens will make contact with those households affected and evacuation centres will be set up at Walcott, Salthouse and Wells.
For further information visit www.norfolk.police.uk, tune in to local radio or log on to local media outlets, or follow @norfolkpolice #floodaware #norfolk on Twitter or visit the Environment Agency website.
Please do not call 999 unless in an emergency. Examples of when to call 999:
· If someone’s life is in danger
· If there is a risk that someone could seriously hurt themselves or someone else
· If a crime is happening or about to happen
· Residents are reminded to take any medication and valuables they may need with them when they leave.
· Members of the public are asked never to wade through any flood water, even if it is still. Drain covers can shift during flooding and pose a danger to anyone wading through the area.
· Members of the public are asked to stay away from flooding areas, particularly riversides and seaside areas.
– Road closures will be in place for public safety and pedestrians are also strongly advised to avoid these areas.