Warnings of coastal flooding have escalated to dangerous levels in the north and east of England. The warnings come from the Environment Agency, Scottish Environment Protection Agency and Met Office, and areas most likely to be affected stretch from the Firth of Forth down to the East Coast of England to Kent.
A number of families are already being evacuated from their homes as a precautionary measure. Darron Burness, head of AA’s flood rescue team, said: [AA] are working with the Environment Agency and the emergency services to provide support in North Wales, to coincide with high tide at noon today, then the East Coast at locations such as Washington (Tyne & Wear), Grimsby, Cromer (Norfolk) and Sandwich (Kent).”
Mr Burness added: “The situation is fast developing and we will change our plans to ensure we offer support where it is most needed.”
The AA’s specialist severe weather team, known as AA Special Operations, is urging homeowners and motorists to take these warnings seriously. Mr Burness has warned against motorists using coastal routes where the combination of high winds and flooding with sea water will be “life-threatening.” He added: “Coastal flooding is particularly dangerous because of the risk of high waves and very fast-moving water.”
The AA and Environment Agency warned last week that over half of drivers (54 per cent) admitted that they would endanger themselves by driving through flood water. A quarter (27 per cent) also said they would drive through moving flood water than is more than a foot (30cm) deep.
Mr Burness warned: “Moving flood water is powerful, relentless and deceptively dangerous. A foot of 30cm of moving water can float your car while a tidal surge could carry your vehicle into the sea- so just stay out.”
So what can you do to stay safe? You plan your journey, and don’t attempt to drive down roads that have been closed due to flooding. You should also avoid fords and check both weather and traffic bulletins regularly. Motorists can also follow regular updates and driving advice from the AA Special Operations on Twitter @AASORT and there is also a weather blog: http://www.theaa.com/emergency
Have you been affected by the adverse weather? Let us know by dropping a comment below.