UPDATE (13 January)
As part of preparations for severe weather in Suffolk during today and into the early hours of tomorrow, the Suffolk Resilience Forum is keen to repeat their message, urging residents and businesses in coastal areas of Suffolk to be prepared and remain vigilant as severe flood warnings remain in place for parts of the east coast between now and Saturday morning.
Emergency services, local councils and other partner agencies have been working together over the course of the last 24 hours to support communities at risk of flooding.
Around 1,800 properties may be affected by flooding in East Suffolk. Operations are well underway for the evacuation of homes, businesses and other properties, and advice is being issued to residents and businesses as three additional severe flood warnings are put in place.
From around 9.30pm tonight there is potential severe flooding in the following areas:
- Aldeburgh and Thorpeness
- Lowestoft seafront and docks
- North bank of Lake Lothing
- Oulton Broad near Mutford Lock
- Snape, Iken and surrounding marshland
- Southwold and surrounding marshes
The changing picture now means that a warning is also being given to residents and businesses;
- On the south bank of Lake Lothing
- At the Riverside Business Park in Kirkley
- In and around the Blythburgh and Blythburgh marshes area
At this stage there is no large scale evacuation planned in these three additional areas however residents and businesses may wish to take steps to protect their property and to self-evacuate if they wish to.
Rest centres are now open (as of 2pm today, Friday 13 January) to anyone living in any of these areas at;
- Leiston Leisure Centre Red House Lane, Leiston IP16 4LS
- Water Lane Leisure Centre, Water Lane, Lowestoft NR32 2NH
- Carlton Colville Community Centre, Hall Road, Carlton Colville Lowestoft NR33 8BT
There will be coach pick up points available from 2pm today at the following locations for those residents with no transport available
- Aldeburgh – Community Centre – to take people to Leiston rest centre
- Snape – Snape Maltings – to take people to Leiston rest centre
- Lowestoft North – Lowestoft Railway station – to take people to Water Lane rest centre
- Lowestoft South – South Beach Pavilion – to take people to Carlton Colville rest centre
- Oulton – Nicholas Everitt Park – to take people to Carlton Colville rest centre
- Southwold – Car Park by Southwold Pier shuttle bus – to take people to Carlton Colville rest centre
If you need help with transport to a rest centres or if you have any other questions relating to these flood warnings, you can call Suffolk County Council’s helpline on 03456 032814, which is open now (from 8am, Friday 13 January).
Areas around Felixstowe are currently facing high tide conditions and flood warnings remain in place until further notice. People are urged to remain vigilant throughout the remainder of today and into tomorrow as the next high tide is due around midnight tonight at Felixstowe. Specific locations that remain at the greatest risk of flooding are:
- Felixstowe Ferry and Bawdsey Quay
- Felixstowe Ferry Hamlet and the Deben Marshes
- Isolated riverside properties on the Deben Estuary
- Tidal Orwell at Ipswich Quay
Where possible, anyone living in those areas should make arrangements to stay with friends or family outside of the affected areas. Alternatively, the Suffolk Resilience Forum has identified rest centres for people who are likely to need to relocate.
A rest centre at Brackenbury Sports Centre High Road East, Felixstowe, Suffolk, IP11 9JF is now open. A pick up point is in operation at the Ferry Inn.
Police officers have been visiting homes in affected areas, to provide details of local rest centres and an information leaflet.
The following advice is offered for those people preparing for evacuation:
- Stay calm and do not panic.
- Police officers and / or other officials will try to visit all properties at risk to advise on the requirement to evacuate.
- If road conditions permit, move vehicles to unaffected areas; for example higher ground, and ask friends / family if you can share their parking facilities.
- You will be given details about your evacuation point for transport and the location of the reception centre either verbally or by a leaflet.
- Try to check that any elderly / vulnerable family members or neighbours know about the evacuation.
- Try to inform family members / friends as to where you are evacuating.
- Listen to the advice of the authorities and follow any instructions to leave the property.
- Take special foods and medicines with you.
- Switch off gas and electricity.
- If possible, move electrical equipment and furniture upstairs.
- Any furniture that you cannot move upstairs, try to raise well off the floor.
- Lock all doors and windows.
- Block doorways and air bricks – sandbags are not available via local authorities
- Avoid walking and driving through floodwater, there could be hidden hazards.
Residents in the areas likely to be affected are advised to check advice from the Environment Agency on preparing your property for flooding:http://www.environment-agency.gov.uk/homeandleisure/floods/31644.aspx and take all necessary steps. People can also find out more information by calling the Environment Agency’s Floodline on 0845 988 1188.
All of the agencies involved – including Suffolk Police, Suffolk Fire and Rescue, East of England Ambulance Service, the Environment Agency, Suffolk County Council, Waveney District Council and Suffolk Coastal District Council – have made plans and are working together to safeguard Suffolk residents and visitors to the county.
Superintendent Kerry Cutler, of Suffolk Constabulary said: “We are taking this matter extremely seriously and would urge people in the areas likely to be affected to do the same. Rest centres have been established in the county and people in those areas are encouraged to find alternative accommodation outside of the affected areas or to make their way to the nearest rest centre well in advance of the high tide times. Leaflets have been distributed overnight.
“We expect the worst of the weather to be in the Lowestoft and Waveney area this evening and we continue to work with agencies both locally, regionally and nationally, with teams out on the ground talking to residents that are likely to be affected. We would continue to ask that you monitor local media and the Environment Agency website to ensure you keep up to date with any developments.
“We would urge anyone who may be currently considering going to the coast to watch the tidal surge, not to do this. This would be incredibly dangerous not only for those people but also as it may cause disruption and delay for emergency response teams and vehicles who are supporting local communities in these areas.”
For updates follow Suffolk Police Twitter @SuffolkPolice
The Met Office has issued a warning of possible snow, heavy rains and strong winds between now at 2pm on Saturday.
It is most likely that snow will fall tomorrow (Friday) morning due to freezing temperatures. High winds could lead to the closure of the Orwell Bridge.
Tidal surges in Suffolk are predicted for tomorrow with the possibility of flooding. Evacuation of approximately 74 properties is being planned today to begin tomorrow in the areas around:
- Felixstowe Ferry, Felixstowe Ferry Hamlet and the Deben Estuary and isolated riverside properties on the Deben Estuary.
There are currently five flood alerts in place for Suffolk HERE.
Information on the situation is being distributed by Suffolk County Council, Suffolk Constabulary and partners. Police is delivering leaflets to those areas most affected, the media is being made aware and social media is being used for updates. The messaging outlines the weather risks, the actions being taken by local organisations to prepare and advice on how to stay safe and well.
Volunteer drivers of specialist 4 x 4 vehicles and the Red Cross will be working with Ipswich Hospital to make sure that community midwives and other clinicians can see people in their own homes.
- Suffolk Coastal District Council: If you’re concerned about flooding, we have a wide range of online information about what to expect & how to prepare
- Public Health England: Cold can kill – look out for vulnerable friends, family & neighbours during this cold weather