People who fled their homes and businesses ahead of last night’s storms in an area of north-east Essex under a severe flood warning have now all returned home, officials have said.

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Buses in Jaywick shipped home the last remaining evacuees forced to abandon their properties and take up refuge at an emergency rescue centre at Clacton County High School.

Residents from more than 60 streets in the seaside village were advised to leave after the Tendring coastline came under a severe flood warning from the Environment Agency.

Around 400 people, from babies to a 103-year-old, stayed at the school overnight. The site has now closed down.

The facility had been set up by Tendring District Council (TDC) yesterday lunchtime.

June Clare, TDC’s corporate director for public xxperience thanks the school for its “tremendous efforts and support”.

“They called their catering team back in during the evening to ensure that all those at the centre were supplied with a hot meal and they were back in at 6am to provide a hot breakfast,” she said.

“Nothing was too much trouble and their staff that were at the site chipped in to help make it a more pleasurable experience for the evacuees.”

The evacuees were given blow-up beds, sleeping bags, blankets and pillows as part of the support provided.

Nigel Brown, TDC’s communications manager, said: “Despite the situation and the obvious anxiety our evacuees had about their homes and what they might find when they returned they were generally in very good spirits.

“It is well known that there is an excellent community spirit in Jaywick and that certainly shone through. We could not have looked after a nicer and more grateful group in very trying circumstances and we thank them for their patience.”

The evacuation was carried out by Essex Police and their partners while TDC has set up the rest centre at the school.

The school has a capacity of around 1,000 people if necessary and it was closed to pupils today to accommodate the residents.

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