The tidal flood gates in Truro have been closed as the Environment Agency warns coastal communities of flood risk due to high tides and gales force winds.
The EA says that the south coast is most at risk, with spring tides and strong south easterly gales potentially causing problems Cornwall tomorrow and over the weekend.
A spokesman said a large area of low pressure across the North Atlantic has increased the risk of storm surges and agency staff have been out checking flood defences and closing tidal flood gates at a number of coastal locations including Truro, Polperro and Plymouth Sutton. The agency is also closely monitoring wave buoys around the coast and checking sea conditions.
Offshore waves of up to 10 metres are expected this evening as winds increase and conditions deteriorate. Tidal surges could result in tides up to 0.5 metres above predicted spring tides. This could cause overtopping and spray either side of high tide at some coastal locations.
The stormy conditions will co-incide with the arrival of rain early tomorrow with up to 40 mm forecast in some areas. Tomorrow’s high tides start at Newlyn at around 5.00am moving up the coast to Christchurch where the tide will peak at 11.00am.
Members of the public are advised to avoid seafronts, quaysides, jettys because of overtopping by waves and the possible risk of injury.
‘We are keeping a close eye on conditions around our coastline and will issue flood warnings if the risk of flooding increases. The critical periods will be the early morning tides over the next three days. If they co-incide with rain, there’s a risk of tide-locking where water is held in rain-swollen rivers and cannot escape into the sea because of the high tides. This could result in localised flooding. We urge people to remain vigilant,’ said Nick Roseveare for the Environment Agency.
Those in areas of risk should check the Environment Agency website for the latest information : www.environment-agency.gov.uk/flood and sign up for free flood warnings on the Environment Agency’s website or by calling the Environment Agency Flood Line on 0845 988 1188. You can also follow the Environment Agency on Twitter at @EnvAgencySW.