Weather prompts flood warnings in region

HIGH tides and strong winds prompted a spate of flood warnings across East Anglia.The Environment Agency issued six flood warnings and 11 flood watch warnings for the region yesterday as the conditions combined to pose a significant threat to the area.

HIGH tides and strong winds prompted a spate of flood warnings across East Anglia.

The Environment Agency issued six flood warnings and 11 flood watch warnings for the region yesterday as the conditions combined to pose a significant threat to the area.

Flood watches were in place along the Suffolk coast from Hopton to Shingle Street, including Southwold, Lowestoft and Aldeburgh, and also along the Suffolk and Essex coast from Shingle Street to Clacton, including Felixstowe and Ipswich.

The River Waveney, including Ellingham to Breydon Water, was also under flood watch throughout the day.

Six flood warnings - the more serious of the two warnings - were also issued, mainly in Norfolk.

An Environment Agency spokesman said the flood threat was caused by the combination of spring equinox tides and strong northerly winds.

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He said: “We are coming up to the vernal equinox and are expecting an astrologically high tide because that is where we are in the lunar cycle.

“This will be combined with strong winds on the coast and that is giving us some cause for concern.”

Rita Penman, of the Environment Agency, later said that they expected higher tides last night but the winds had dropped.

She added that the weather should hopefully settle after today.

At Covehithe, near Southwold, strong winds and large waves battered the coastline but the blustery conditions did not deter some walkers.

Paul Howard and Tina Mullender from Pakefield, braved the elements to walk their dog.

They said: “We've just come to see if there's been any coastal erosion and see how rough the weather is.

“It's really nice to be out here and this is the best time to come out in because you don't see many people.”

Elsewhere, flooding was spotted in Orford, near Woodbridge, and Felixstowe Port was also closed due to winds of more than 45mph the facility had been experiencing intermittently throughout the day.

Suffolk Police also warned drivers to take care as they had received reports of fallen trees.

Meanwhile, around 3,000 people living between the two sea defences on the Norfolk coast between Snettisham and Hunstanton were advised to evacuate their homes because of the threat of flooding.

The Environment Agency issued a Precautionary Evacuation Notice (PEN) for the caravans and bungalows there as a “precautionary measure”.

Residents were advised to leave their homes between 4.14pm and 10.14pm yesterday and not return until it was safe to do so.

For further information and booklets on how to prepare for flooding, and what to do if you are flooded, contact the Environment Agency's Floodline on 0845 988 1188.