Flood warnings issued for North-East coast

The Northern Echo: Braving the waves at Allonby on the West Cumbrian coast this afternoon Braving the waves at Allonby on the West Cumbrian coast this afternoon

Large waves expected to hit the North-East coast later this morning have prompted the Environment Agency to issue three flood warnings.

They are at Berwick-upon-Tweed, Alnmouth, Northumberland and Roker, Sunderland.

Forecasters fear that an area of low pressure will combine with early morning high tides between 3.45am and 4.25am to create surge conditions with high waves posing a risk from overtopping and spray.

Overtopping of waves is likely to happen between 3.30 and 5.45am.

Flood alerts have also been issued for large parts of the region, including the Northumberland Coast, from Berwick to St Mary's Lighthouse; the River Nidd and tributaries to the confluence with the River Ouse in North Yorkshire; the Tyne and Wear coast, from St Mary's Lighthouse to Crimdon Park, North Hartlepool and riverside footpaths and low-lying land in York, including Kings Staith, Queens Staith, and South Esplanade.

The flood warning at Berwick-upon-Tweed cover the following areas: the Chandlery, the Old Lifeboat Station, Pier Road, Longstone View, Bridge End South Bank, Riverside Road, Blakewell Road, Blakewell Gardens, West End, between the Bridges area, Main Street, Berwick Dock and Berwick Lifeboat Station.

At Alnmouth it affects properties on Riverside Road and Garden Terrace. Also at Sawmill Cottage.

The flood warning at Roker covers properties including, the Amusement Arcades and Smugglers Pub.

Nineteen of the most serious warnings are in place across Britain, most of which are in south-west England, with parts of Gloucestershire and north Wales also set to be hit by storms.

Heavy rain and winds gusting up to 60mph are due to hit western areas, prompting fears of widespread disruption.

As well as the severe warnings, issued when there is a threat to life or property, there are 186 flood warnings and 234 flood alerts across the country. In London, the Thames Barrier was closed to protect people and property along the river.

Pete Fox, head of strategy at the Environment Agency, urged people to be vigilant and stay away from the coast.

He said: ''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 AA, which has attended 1,500 call-outs from those stranded due to floods since December 23, said some drivers were failing to heed warnings.


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