The Environment Agency has (as of 1600 Thursday) issued 12 severe flood warnings for coastal communities as strong winds combine with high tides and large waves from the early hours of tomorrow (Friday 3 January).
Severe flood warnings – the highest category of warning – indicate a danger to life and property and have been issued for the following locations as of 1600:
- Cornwall: North Cornwall Coast At Bude
- Cornwall: North Cornwall Coast At Wadebridge
- Cornwall, Devon: North Cornwall Coast Flood Warning Area
- Cornwall, Plymouth: South Cornwall Coast Flood Warning Area
- Devon: North Devon Coast at Ilfracombe
- Devon: North Devon Coastal Communities, including Westward Ho!, Combe Martin and Lynmouth
- Devon: Plymouth Barbican
- Devon: Tidal River Taw from Bishops Tawton to Barnstaple
- Devon: Tidal River Torridge from Weare Giffard to Bideford
- Devon: Tidal locations in the Taw Torridge Estuary
- Devon, Dorset: South Devon Coast from Exmouth to Lyme Regis
- Devon, Torbay: South Devon Coast from Start Point to Dawlish Warren
As of 1600 there are 68 flood warnings and 234 flood alerts in force across England and Wales.
The flood risk extends along the UK coastline from north west England, through Wales and south west and southern England. Areas at particular risk include the Isles of Scilly, the north and south coasts of Devon and Cornwall, Dorset, the tidal reaches of the River Severn, and the coastline of Wales and Cumbria.
Environment Agency teams continue to work around the clock to check flood defences and close tidal gates. The Thames Barrier has closed today (Thursday) to protect people and property along the Thames.
Natural Resources Wales, the organisation which leads on flooding in Wales, has issued warnings to communities along the coastline of Wales.
Continued risk of river and surface water flooding
Recent heavy rain, saturated ground and high river levels mean that there is a also continued risk of river and surface water flooding across the country as unsettled conditions are forecast to continue.
Pete Fox, head of strategy at the Environment Agency, said: 'We are expecting flooding along the west and south coasts of England and Wales, due to a combination of strong winds, large waves and high tides, from the early hours of Friday and into the weekend.'
'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 making sure that flood defences are in good working order, monitoring sea levels and preparing to issue flood alerts and warnings.'
'People should check the Environment Agency website or follow @EnvAgency and #floodaware on Twitter for the latest flood outlook, and sign up to receive free flood warnings.'