Flood warning as gale-force winds to batter Hartlepool and East Durham coasts

WARNING: Flooding expected along coast
WARNING: Flooding expected along coast

COMMUNITIES along the east coast are being urged to prepare for the risk of coastal flooding.

The Environment Agency and Met Office are forecasting that gale-force winds and large waves will combine with spring tides and a large surge later on Thursday and through Friday.

They say this brings a risk of significant coastal flooding.

Areas at highest risk are along the north east coast and parts of the north Norfolk coast. The east coast including Lincolnshire, Suffolk, Essex and Southend-on-Sea could also be affected. Coastal communities around the Thames Estuary and Kent could also see flooding.

John Curtin, the Environment Agency’s head of incident management, said: “Gale force winds and large waves along the east coast of England are forecast during Thursday and Friday, coinciding with high tides.

“Impacts could include flooding affecting some coastal properties and communities. Coastal paths and promenades could be highly dangerous as there is an increased risk of being swept out to sea. People are warned to stay away from the shoreline.

“The Environment Agency is monitoring the situation closely, working alongside partners including the Met Office and local authorities. Environment Agency teams are out on the ground confirming that flood defences are in good working order, monitoring sea levels and preparing to issue flood warnings if necessary.

“People should check the Environment Agency website or follow @EnvAgency and #floodaware on Twitter for the latest flood outlook, and to sign up to receive free flood warnings.”