Flood alert: 5,000 homes in Yarmouth to be evacuated

Waves crashing over Gorleston pier. Picture: Liz Coates

Waves crashing over Gorleston pier. Picture: Liz Coates - Credit: Liz Coates

More than 5,000 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.

Sandbags will also be made avaiulable at several collection points in the town.

The severe flood warning has been issued for Great Yarmouth tonight 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.

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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.”

Rest centres have been set up in Great Yarmouth and Gorleston – Cliff Park Academy, Kennedy Avenue, Gorleston, will be open from 10am and dedicated to vulnerable members of the community. Ormiston Venture Academy, Oriel Avenue, Gorleston, and Christ Church, King Street, Yarmouth, will both open from noon 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. The pick-up points will be operational from 10am this morning. They are at:

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