'Danger to life' as weather warning over coastal flooding upgraded to severe

Falmouth Packet: Coastal flooding warning for Cornwall this weekend Coastal flooding warning for Cornwall this weekend

A warning over coastal flooding along the south and north coasts of Cornwall in the early hours of tomorrow morning (Friday) has now been upgraded to "severe", meaning 'danger to life'.

Severe flood warnings have also been put in place for swathes of the north and south Devon coasts tomorrow morning.

This cafe has already fallen victim to the wild weather, with the outside decking destroyed by a landslide.

Falmouth Packet:

Picture: Russ Speller. Police Constable with Devon & Cornwall Police

The warning applies to the coast from Lands End to Plymouth, including Truro, with fears water could overtop defences and flood Garras Wharf and the city centre, and the north coast from Lands End to Hartland Point.

It includes severe warnings specifically for Wadebridge including Harbour Road, The Platt, Eddystone Road, Southern Way, Jubilee Road, Egloshayle and Sladesbridge, and Bude, including The Strand and The Crescent

A high winds warning was issued earlier for Cornwall, with teams from the Environment Agency closing sea defence gates at Hayle, Flushing and Truro, due to risk of coastal flooding

The local time of high water on January 3 is 05:42am at Newlyn and 06:50am at Devonport. At Devonport the predicted astronomical tide level is 2.75mAOD.

The times of high tide will vary along the coast. Conditions will usually apply two to four hours either side of high tide.

The warning says that overtopping of coastal defences is likely with high energy large waves and spray combined with high spring tides and high winds.

Flooding is expected at exposed coastal locations. Gusts of wind of up to 65 miles per hour and large waves of six to nine metres are forecast. Beaches, coastal promenades, roads and footpaths will be extremely dangerous. The public are advised to avoid these areas.

The Met Office  issued the 'Yellow Alert' for high winds as another spell of bad weather is expected on Friday, with further wet and windy conditions likely across western areas in particular.

This update to the alert issued on Wednesday says that wind speeds will be higher than first thought.

An alert of heavy rain is also in place for Sunday.

A spokesman said: "A developing Atlantic low pressure system is expected to move northeastwards just to the west of Scotland on Friday. This will push further bands of locally heavy rain across the UK and winds will gust to around 60-70 mph over coasts and hills, locally 80 mph along some exposed Irish Sea coasts. Inland, gusts up to 50 mph are likely.

Lowering pressure will combine with high tides around the UK coastline and bring the risk of some flooding.

On Sunday outbreaks of rain, heavy at times, will hit Cornwall. Quite widespread accumulations of 10-20 mm are likely with locally in excess of 40 mm possible over some higher ground.

This additional rainfall, following the recent wet weather, means that the public should be aware of an increased risk of both surface water and river flooding as well as disruption to transport.

The Sunday weather is due to a new, deep depression anchored over the eastern Atlantic Ocean. The associated frontal system is expected to move eastwards across Britain, perhaps not clearing the far east and southeast until Monday morning.

Teams from the Environment Agency have been closing sea defence gates at Hayle, Flushing and Truro, due to risk of coastal flooding this weekend.

The agency says that coastal communities along the south and west coasts of England should remain alert for possible tidal flooding between Friday and Sunday, as strong winds combine with high tides and large waves.

This will lead to localised spray and wave over-topping at exposed coastal locations and promenades, and the risk of flooding to properties and low lying land.

EA teams will be working to check flood defences and close tidal gates and further flood alerts (meaning be aware of possible flooding) and some flood warnings (which mean take action to prepare for flooding) are likely to be issued in the coming 24 hours.

Craig Woolhouse, the Environment Agency’s head of flood incident management, said: "Strong winds and large waves along the west and south coasts of England are forecast between Friday and Sunday, coinciding with high tides.

"Impacts could include flooding affecting some coastal properties and communities. 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 Environment Agency is monitoring the situation closely, working alongside partners including the Met Office and local authorities. Environment Agency teams are out on the ground making sure that flood defences are in good working order, monitoring sea levels and preparing to issue flood alerts and warnings."

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