Largest ever evacuation operation underway in Norfolk

Thousands of people across Norfolk and Suffolk are being evacuated following the severe weather warning and threat of flooding to the east coast.

The following statement was issued by Norfolk Constabulary

Residents in living coastal areas likely to be affected by flooding will start to be visited within the next few hours to be given information on evacuation plans.

This will be a 36-48 hour evacuation which covers three anticipated high tides.

Where possible people should make arrangements to stay with friends or relatives who do not live in the affected areas.

For those who cannot do this rest centres will be set up this afternoon. Further details will follow.

Areas affected include:

In Wells Pinewood Caravan Park has evacuated 22 touring vans (site manager’s decision).

61 properties will be evacuated at 4pm in the East Quay, The Quay and Freeman Street areas.

The flood barrier at Wells will be closed at 5pm alongside the following roads; Polka Road, Stanley Road and Freeman Street. A rest centre will be set up at Alderman Peel High School in Market Lane in Wells.

In Blakeney 30 properties are to be evacuated. The Blakeney Hotel has 66 people staying, they will be closing the flood door.

In Salthouse some 23 properties will be evacuated and at 5pm a road closure will be put in place on the A149 coast road.

Walcott has 52 properties to be evacuated and the coast road will be closed.

The South Quay car park in King’s Lynn along the quay side will be closed from 3pm. Anyone parking their car is asked to remove it before this time.

Advice includes:

Residents are reminded to take any medication and valuables they may need with them when they leave. Members of the public are asked never to wade through any flood water, even if it is still. Drain covers can shift during flooding and pose a danger to anyone wading through the area. Members of the public are asked to stay away from flooding areas, particularly riversides and seaside areas. Road closures will be in place for public safety and pedestrians are also strongly advised to avoid these areas. Indications are that high tides are likely to start in King’s Lynn at around 7pm today before affecting the other mentioned areas. However, it is crucial areas of high population are evacuated where possible.

Norfolk’s Deputy Chief Constable Charlie Hall, who is leading the multi-agency response, said: “Anyone living in a high risk area as identified by the Environment Agency will be asked to evacuate.

“This is to ensure the safety of everyone involved and for the evacuation to be conducted in a planned and organised manner.

“We would like to reassure residents that Norfolk has tried and tested flood response plans which are being put in place, in line with Environment Agency advice.”

“We would like to reassure property owners that they will receive a personal visit from a police officer or member of police staff should they be required to evacuate.

It is anticipated disruption is likely to last for 36 hours and local communities will be kept updated throughout.

Emergency services and all local authorities continue to work with the Environment Agency to put well-rehearsed contingency plans in place.

The public should be on the alert for any further warnings from the Environment Agency.

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