UK tidal surge: As it happened

Key Points

  • A tidal surge has hit coastal towns on the east of Britain after thousands of people were evacuated from their homes
  • Environment Secretary Owen Paterson says people living there should put off returning home
  • Two people who died in the storm have been named by police
  • Eight severe flood warnings - indicating risk to life - remain in place
  • Seven cliff-top homes collapsed in Hemsby, Norfolk, and a lifeboat station washed into the sea
  • Further high tides are predicted for later on Friday

    Good morning and welcome to our coverage of the tidal surge which hit the east of Britain overnight.


    Flood waters have been reported to be receding but there will be further high tides later on Friday.

    Rescue workers in Great Yarmouth

    Rescue workers check vehicles in a flooded car wash during the storm surge in Great Yarmouth.


    On Thursday, the tidal surge barrier in Hull was lowered to protect the city from water and police used loud hailers to warn people to leave the Victoria Dock area. There is now some concern further along the River Ouse at Reedness. East Riding Council says it is making arrangements for transport to be on standby in the village, with residents advised to consider evacuation ahead of high tide due around 09:00 GMT.


    Some 184 flood warnings are in place across England and Wales and a further 14 in Scotland.


    Scotland is facing snow alerts after a fierce storm earlier battered the UK, claiming two lives.

    0625: Environment Agency Anglian

    tweets: We are expecting another high tide through this morning and into this afternoon, please remain vigilant #floodaware


    Environment Agency Yorkshire & North East tweets: We will be in #Reedness from 7am inspecting the flood defences and monitoring the situation ahead of this morning's high tide.


    The Environment Agency says the first surge has been receding since 03:00 GMT. In some places it was higher than 1953.

    It said there has been "overtopping of flood defences" in some areas with defences being damaged and repaired.

    BBC Weather

    tweets: 45 Severe Flood Warnings currently, but number expected to rise again in next few hours with next North Sea high tide. #storm #flood SusanP

    Rhyl Rescue teams worked through the night in Rhyl

    In parts of north Wales battered by storms hours earlier on Thursday, the high tides passed without further major flooding.

    Lifeboat crews from south Wales were drafted in to help colleagues in the north amid fears coastal areas could be hit for a second time in 24 hours.

    RNLI Whitby

    tweets: High tide passed. Fortunately didn't amount to anything. Not the surge of last night. Will be a lot of relieved people this morning!!


    BBC weather presenter Matt Taylor explained that "storm surges" begin when a rising area of low pressure takes pressure off the surface of the sea, allowing it to "bulge" upwards.

    "Then, as that pulls away, you get the very strong winds on the back edge of the low pressure and then that shoves that bulge of high sea levels down through the North Sea," he said.

    Northumbria Police

    tweets: Early indications are that the tidal surges in our area this morning are less than what we saw yesterday #floodaware


    The Environment Agency now has 46 severe flood warnings in place; 26 of them are in the Anglian region.


    Phillip Norton in Hull says the surge over topped some of the defences in the city - many shops and business in the city centre have been damaged by flooding. He says he has heard stories of people being rescued from the tops of their cars such was the speed of the incoming water.


    The BBC's Philip Norton adds that Boston in Lincolnshire has been inundated by the sea.


    The A63 in Hull has been closed until at least midday due to the expected high tide, while rail services have been suspended.


    Peter Fox from the Environment Agency urges people to "remain vigilant" for flooding, as the event is not over.


    Peter Fox says some areas like Kings Lynn in Norfolk have recorded their highest-ever tide, with some waves 2m over the expected tidal level.


    Mr Fox says the Environment Agency has reports of several hundred properties flooded and that number is expected to rise as daylight arrives.

    0651: @bigstevetex

    tweeted this image from Great Yarmouth that he took at 23:30 GMT last night.

    Great Yarmouth at 11:30pm Here's an image of the scene at Great Yarmouth last night. Taken by @bigstevetex at 11:30pm

    Reports of flooding are coming in from Boston, Lincolnshire, and villages along the tidal Trent, such as Lowestoft and Faversham, the Environment Agency's Peter Fox says.

    Residents in Great Yarmouth

    Residents in Great Yarmouth filled sandbags through the night as the high tide approached.


    The agency will be checking flood defences and making any repairs they can once daylight arrives in readiness for the next tides, Mr Fox adds.


    The BBC's Nick Beak in Clacton tells Radio 5 live 400 people sheltered in a school overnight.


    "On the whole, the defences stood up very well, it was their biggest test for 60 years, which is testament to the investment and hard work people have put in, getting defences to the stage they are," Mr Fox adds.


    tweeted an image of Great Yarmouth last night. He took this at 23:30 GMT.

    @bigstevetex took this image of Great Yarmouth last night Great Yarmouth at 11:30pm as seen by @bigstevetex

    The BBC's Dan Johnson in Whitby says the harbour area was totally flooded and more than 100 homes have been affected by the tide.


    Essex Police say the flood situation has now been downgraded from a "severe" flood warning to a flood warning, and that the county has escaped the worst of the weather.


    Suffolk Fire and Rescue says they have attended 18 flood and fire-related incidents, rescuing 27 people.

    Carol Shuttleworth

    emails: I live on the west coast and we got it yesterday. It's still very windy and expecting another high tide this morning. We have been lucky so far but I am praying for the people of Norfolk. Good luck everyone.


    Suffolk Police Assistant Chief Constable Tim Newcomb, who is leading the response in the county, said: "The multi-agency responders to this incident have been working incredibly hard throughout the night to minimise the risk to Suffolk residents. It's not over yet.

    "We want to ensure that our plans for the next 24 hours are appropriate in order to address the next two potentially significant tide levels which will be at lunchtime and midnight."


    Assistant Chief Constable Newcomb adds: "There is always an element of uncertainty when trying to predict the natural environment but we will keep the public informed about our plans and approach. At the same time we also need to start to think about what needs to be done to clear up."


    Military personnel from Colchester Garrison helped emergency services during the night in Maldon, and the majority of people evacuated from their homes have now left rest centres, police said.


    Some 223 people in Lincolnshire are waking up in rest centres. Severe flood warnings have been reissued for Boston, where the Haven Bridge has been closed.

    John Curtin Head of Incident Management, Environment Agency

    tweets: The second hide tide is starting now in the NE - stay safe, stay informed

    0710: BBC Weather
    Tide tables

    tweets: Another high tide coming up in parts of eastern England. More tide times for rest of UK can be found here

    Env Agency Yorks&NE

    tweets: #Staysafe please stay away from #flood water. Six inches of fast flowing water can knock you off your feet. #floodaware


    Essex Police has says the situation in the county - which has one of the longest coastline in the country - "changed quite rapidly during the night".

    From an initial two main areas of severe flood warning, a further seven areas were added by midnight, it said in a statement.


    Ch Supt Simon Williams of Essex Police said: "Contingency plans were implemented to protect the communities of Essex. All emergency services and authorities have worked tirelessly through the night to minimise the threat to the lives of those in the county.

    "We are grateful for the additional support provided by military personnel from the Colchester Garrison and by mutual aid supplied by the Metropolitan Police."

    Eastern Daily Press

    tweets: Police say this morning's high tide is set to hit King's Lynn at 8am, Cromer at 8.30am, and 10.44am in Yarmouth.

    Eastern Daily Press

    tweets: Local authorities are stressing that this event is not over yet and there is a risk of further flooding. There is particular concern in the Hunstanton area where some of the shingle bank has been swept away. #floodaware


    Find out if your area has any traffic disruption at


    Stephen Chittenden is reporting for BBC Radio 5 live from Great Yarmouth; he says 9,000 people abandoned their homes with many staying in one of the dozen shelters arranged by the council.


    Many people are waking up in rest centres this morning - in Boston, Lincolnshire, more than 250 people were taken to evacuation centres last night, and 200 were reported to be at a centre in Clacton-on-Sea in Essex.

    0725: Dale Bolton

    tweets: Beven Street, town centre in Lowestoft

    Flooded image of Beven Street in Lowestoft by Dale Bolton Dale Bolton took this image of Beven Street, in the centre of Lowestoft

    Gloria Holden from Jaywick near Clacton on Sea is at a rest centre at a high school in Clacton. She is waiting for a coach to take her home. "We have no idea if it has touched our property until we can get there. I just want to go home to bed and listen to Radio 4."

    Jamie Angus Editor, Today Programme

    tweets: Gloria Holden: 'I want to go home and listen to a play on #Radio4Extra ' #floods R4 Controller sitting in gallery looks very happy!

    Chris Eakin BBC News

    tweets: measurements show tidal surge in Great Yarmouth last night was higher than 1953 when more than 300 killed. Power of defences


    The Environment Agency now has 43 severe flood warnings across England, mainly centred on the Anglian region. Wales and Cornwall have a number of flood alerts in force while forecasters have a yellow warning of snow in place Grampian, Highlands and parts of Tayside.

    0740: Breaking News

    The Environment Secretary, Owen Paterson, will chair one of the government's COBRA emergency meetings at 08:00 GMT to discuss the floods overnight.


    Humberside's chief fire officer says his team rescued 147 people during operations overnight.


    Norfolk Police said Cromer Pier had been closed to the public because of storm damage.


    Police in Yarmouth urged "sightseers" to stay away, saying they were placing themselves at "significant risk".

    They said crowds, including people with small children on their shoulders, had been seen gathering close to the seafront.


    Ch Insp Kate Thacker of Norfolk Police said: "Some of these people have no concept of the danger they are putting themselves in and we are urging pedestrians to keep away from the flood water and seafront and for traffic to avoid the town centre."


    There are now 40 severe flood warnings in place across England and Wales; that's down from overnight when there were more than 50.

    Dan Brocklebank

    tweets: #UKStorm scenes from Trusthorpe

    Dan Brocklebank's picture of Trusthorpe, Lincolnshire Dan Brocklebank took this picture of Trusthorpe in Lincolnshire at 19:30 GMT last night

    Around 300 people have been in a rest centre at a school in Clacton-on-Sea overnight. One of those there, Joan, said: "It's been great, we've been well looked-after. The staff have been wonderful, we've had plenty to eat and drink."


    Network Rail says the vast majority of the rail network has returned to normal this morning following yesterday's severe storm.


    The company said some coastal routes in eastern England, Wales and Cumbria remain suspended this morning as a result of flooding or as a precaution against a second coastal surge predicted to arrive later this morning.

    A few rural routes in Scotland are also in the process of being checked and cleared for services to resume. Check online for full details.


    More than 9,000 people were forced to leave their homes in Norfolk. The BBC understands that five homes been damaged, some entirely washed away, by the high tides in Hemsby near Great Yarmouth.


    For those just waking up on Friday morning, here's a quick summary of what's happening in the UK.

    • Flood waters are reported to be receding after the worst tidal surge for more than 60 years hit coastal towns along the east coast of Britain
    • But people are being warned to remain vigilant as further high tides are expected on Friday
    • The Environment Agency has 39 severe flood warnings in place

    The storms left many major roads flooded. Among the roads closed are the A12 in Blythburgh in Suffolk; A16 in Boston in Lincolnshire, the A63 in Hull and the A178 in Hartlepool.

    The Highways Agency said extra staff were being deployed to help keep trunk roads in East Anglia clear of debris. It advised motorists to avoid the A47 and A12 if possible. For full travel news look here.


    Among the 180 people spending the night at Caister High School in Great Yarmouth are Laura and Debbie, who have a six-month-old baby with them.

    "We've been sitting on the tables we're had a little while on the floor but didn't manage it for long. I think everybody's been keeping everybody else going and its been a really good atmosphere here. We can't thank the people at Caistor High School enough," they said.

    0816: Damien Keene

    emailed us this picture of a flooded holiday home in the village of Snape Bridge in Suffolk. He pointed out the high tide mark half way up the ground floor windows.

    Damien Keene's picture of a flooded house in Suffolk Damien Keene took this picture of a flooded house in Snape Bridge, Suffolk at 07:00 GMT
    Eastern Daily Press

    tweets: 8am update: School closures & more #FloodAlerts to come. "It's not over says local authorities" Read the newspaper's full report of the situation in the region here


    In Kent, more than 500 properties were evacuated in areas including Sandwich, Seasalter, Faversham and the Medway towns. The Port of Dover was also shut temporarily at the height of the tide at about 01:00 GMT on Friday. Read the full report from the South East here.

    Broken home

    BBC Radio Norfolk has heard from Lorna, who is one of five Hemsby residents to have lost their homes to the sea.


    Speaking on BBC Radio Norfolk, Lorna urged the government to "give us money to defend our coastline, do something for us, please".

    Kenneth McIntosh Temporary Assistant Chief Constable, North Yorks Police

    tweets: Excellent response overnight and this morning at Whitby and Scarborough. The professionalism of all involved was first class.


    The editor of BBC Radio Humberside, Simon Pattern, says there are "indications that the morning high tide in Humber area is significantly lower than last night's. Flood defences holding firm at the moment, although we're not through it all yet."


    You can find your local BBC radio station here; they'll be keeping you up-to-date with all the very latest from your area.

    Damien Keene

    emailed us a picture taken at 07:00 GMT it shows the main road between Snape Bridge and Snape Maltings in Suffolk. He said a couple of 4x4s attempted to drive through the water, but gave up and turned back.

    Damien Keene's picture of a flooded road Damien Keene took this picture of the main road between Snape Maltings and Snape Bridge at 07:00 GMT
    Maria Bray, Norfolk

    emails to ask: Why is nobody talking about the flooding in Wells-next-the-Sea? It was horrendous - the shops are all flooded and the water was over the quay two hours before the high tide came in.

    Env Agency Yorks&NE

    tweets: Please don't drive in flood water. It only takes a few inches for you to lose control and 2ft to float a car #thinkdontsink #floodaware

    Residents using a rowing boat to leave their homes in 1953 (Getty Images) In 1953, there was no warning system to alert people of the approaching storm surge

    The danger of the sea was brought home for thousands of people in the Netherlands, Belgium and the UK during the night of 31 January 1953. A massive storm surge swept into unsuspecting communities, claiming the lives of 2,551 people, damaging almost 50,000 properties and killing tens of thousands of livestock.

    But are we better prepared today? The BBC's environment correspondent Mark Kinver investigates in this feature.

    0836: Meredic Hallett

    emails: Thames Barrier at High Tide 03:20 GMT. The highest tide in sixty years. London sleeps safe behind the barrier. For those of you that missed the early morning.

    Meredic Hallett took this image of the Thames Barrier at 03:20 GMT Meredic Hallett titled this image: Thames Barrier at High Tide 03:20 GMT
    BBC Look East
    White house sliding down beach in Hemsby

    tweets: Hemsby resident Ray Mooney told @BBCNorfolk "Luckily my brother phoned, I was about to get my washing"


    Meanwhile, the storm is also affecting northern Europe. In western Denmark, a female passenger of a lorry died when the vehicle overturned in strong winds. Two sailors were reportedly swept overboard from a ship 22 km (14 miles) off the southern Swedish coast, and air-sea rescue services failed to find them.

    In Germany, the port of Hamburg is bracing for a direct hit and a massive tidal surge. Read our report in full here.

    BBC Look North

    tweets: High tide has passed in Whitby this morning without the same force as last night. Two severe flood warnings still remain for the town.


    Essex fire service says a woman and baby were rescued from flood waters. Firefighters were called to reports that they were stranded at Brightlingsea Marina at about 01:44 GMT. "They were safely back on dry ground by 01.53 GMT," a spokesman said.

    Eastern Daily Press

    tweets: The high tide at King's Lynn has passed without drama this morning, according to our reporter on the scene

    Clacton Coastguard

    tweets: @clacton_CG & @WCoastguard provided public safety patrols throughout the night in Clacton, Jaywick, St Osyth, Brightlingsea & surrounding areas.

    Mark Lloyd in Brigg, North Lincolnshire

    emails: Building companies need to come up with more radical designs to protect homes from flooding - like elevated housing or compulsory flood protection devices that close off air bricks and watertight fitting doors. We can build things to keep water in, why not build to keep water out?

    Hemsby house

    Here's another picture tweeted by BBC Radio Norfolk from Ray Mooney - one of the Hemsby residents whose houses have been damaged.


    It looks like a calm, bright day in Whitby, as shown in this picture from BBC correspondent Dan Johnson, who is reporting from the town.

    George Wride in Hull

    emails: Tried to get to work 4 miles away, just out of the city centre. I got to within 200 yards, but the police turned me back. They said it was too dangerous to proceed. It seems my firm's under 4 feet of water. The traffic is bedlam, but the police are doing a good job.


    Speaking after a meeting of the government's Cobra emergencies committee, Environment Secretary Owen Paterson warned that the danger was not over.

    "There will still be exceptionally high tides today and tomorrow and I would ask everybody to pay very close attention to advice from the Environment Agency and also to follow instructions from the police, local government and the emergency services," he said.

    Environment Agency

    tweets: Our flood defences have protected 800,000 properties from flooding since yesterday. #floodaware

    Sgt James Main

    tweets: South Ferriby & Burringham&Gunness schools are currently closed but are the only schools so far that are closed in North Lincs

    Dave Smith in New Brighton, Wirral

    emails: We had new flood defence systems put in place costing millions of pounds. They are 30 foot high, but the tidal waves coming over the sides were the biggest I've ever seen. All my life I've never seen the likes in New Brighton, all the new buildings, the new jobs, the new life - literally wiped out in 24 hours.


    For more pictures of the scene in Hemsby, where five homes have been lost to the sea, see the gallery on BBC Radio Norfolk's Facebook page here.

    Liz Townson in Great Yarmouth

    emails: Great Yarmouth foodbank will be open from noon at Gorleston Baptist Church for tins if anyone affected by yesterday's floods heeds help.

    0915: Env Agency Yorks&NE
    Hull Tidal barrier

    tweets: #Hull Tidal Barrier protected 19 000 properties in Hull from record tidal levels of 5.8m (19ft)


    The Environment Agency now has 31 severe flood warnings in force. See their live warning map here.


    Here's another image which the BBC's Look East programme has tweeted from Hemsby where five houses have fallen into the sea.


    Suffolk Coastal District Council has issued advice on returning home after a flood. See it here.


    Here's some more from the Environment Secretary Owen Paterson, speaking after the Cobra meeting.

    "Conditions like this only occur in some places every 500 years, so it's good that over 800,000 properties were protected by our flood defences," he says.

    Rosemary Wood in Bridlington

    emails: Well done to all the emergency services for their hard work over the last 24 hours, they have done a tremendous job making sure everyone is safe and rescued where necessary. They deserve all the praise they can get as they very seldom get it.


    Mr Paterson adds: "I would really pay tribute to all of those who have been working through the night, the Environment Agency, public services, local government.

    "I would stress that this is not over, there will still be exceptionally high tides today and tomorrow and I would urge everybody to pay very close attention to the advice from the Environment Agency and follow instructions from police, local government and the emergency services."


    Meanwhile, police officers in Boston, Lincolnshire, have been evacuated from their police station due to flooding.

    Eastern Daily Press

    tweets: Norfolk Fire and Rescue service attended 116 incidents including nine flood rescues last night.

    Essex Police

    tweets: No further evacuations planned. All people evacuated last night can now safely return home. Thanks again for your support.


    Northumbria Police said tidal surge levels in its force area were lower than those experienced on Thursday.

    There were no reports of road closures and police were unaware of any problems with the bus, rail or ferry networks in the area.

    A spokesman said: "People are reminded that there will be a second high tide this evening and, although not anticipated to cause problems, there is still the potential for flooding."


    Charlie Hall, Deputy Chief Constable of Norfolk Police, said that in places the waters exceeded 1953 levels.

    He says: "This has been a serious incident which could have been far worse had it not been for the support and cooperation of the public and all the agencies working to keep people safe."


    Lincolnshire county council have asked anyone who wishes to help with the flood clear-up to call 0845 0547171.

    0950: John Appleton in Saxmundham, Suffolk

    emails: More money must be given to flood protection. We must build the sea walls one metre higher than the highest point of the 1953 storm surge. All surface ditches and gullies must be kept clear and there should be no building allowed on flood plains. We cannot control the weather, but we must have long term plans.

    Lifeboat house

    The lifeboat station in Hemsby was washed into the sea. Read the BBC report from the area here.


    Volunteers have been arranging to meet to help the flood clean-up in Boston, organised on Facebook. They are meeting at 11:00 GMT in the Britannia pub on Church Street.

    1004: Environment Agency South East

    tweets: The #ThamesBarrier has reopened this morning. It will be closed again later from 11.15am to 5.30pm for the next high tide.

    Cromer Pier

    In Norfolk, Cromer Pier is closed due to storm damage.


    Here are some figures giving an idea of how Norfolk has been affected. The county's fire and rescue service attended 116 incidents including nine flood rescues overnight. More than 600 people have made use of the county's various rest centres and 10,000 properties were visited with residents advised to evacuate.

    The council's highways department has assisted with 21 fallen trees, 11 road closures and staff are currently assessing bridges in the west of the county.


    Meanwhile, Humberside Fire and Rescue dealt with 186 flood incidents and rescues - leading 181 people to safety.


    Here's another shot of the damage to houses in Hemsby, Norfolk.


    More on how the storm is affecting parts of northern Europe. Water levels in Hamburg rose about four metres above average flood levels early today. Schools are closed and transport services are disrupted. A flood barrier in the Netherlands has been closed for the first time in six years.

    1032: Steve Brophy in New Brighton

    emailed this picture of a tractor battling its way through the flood waters during high tide in New Brighton on the Wirral at 12:30 GMT yesterday.

    High tide in New Brighton yesterday. Photo: Steve Brophy High tide in New Brighton yesterday. Photo: Steve Brophy

    One woman in Boston tells the BBC's Ben Brown that she is very angry as no-one from the local authorities came to help her last night during the flooding - just her neighbours - despite being registered disabled.

    1039: Env Agency Geomatics

    tweets: Both planes are out today surveying areas along the east coast affected by flooding. #floodaware @EnvAgency


    Furniture sits in the garden of a house that fell into the sea during a storm surge in Hemsby.

    1043: Eastern Daily Press

    tweets: People are being forced to abandon their homes and businesses in Southwold this morning due to "rising sea levels" #floodaware


    Present at the government's Cobra emergency meeting on the storms were representatives from the Home Office, the Ministry of Defence, the Department for Transport, the Department for Communities and Local Government and the Department for the Environment, Food and Rural Affairs.

    The Met Office and the Environment Agency were also represented.

    The meeting lasted a little over an hour and was chaired by Environment Secretary Owen Paterson.


    A major operation is under way to rescue hundreds of fish from Hunstanton Sea Life Centre after power was lost during last night's storms, the Eastern Daily Press reports.


    In Poland, three people have been killed in a car that was hit by a falling tree in Pomerania. Across the country, about 400,000 storm-hit homes are without electricity.


    Network Rail reports that flooding in Lowestoft has closed the line.

    1058: Environment Agency

    tweets: In some places, such as the Hull Barrier, sea levels have been higher than those during the devastating 1953 floods. #floodaware

    1103: David Whiteley TV & Radio Presenter BBC Inside Out
    Hemsby beach

    tweets: Seas still ferocious just off high tide at Hemsby this morning. It was much scarier being at this spot last night.


    The Environment Agency is now reporting 27 severe flood warnings - down from approximately 50 first thing this morning.

    1107: Steve Downes

    tweets: Gutted to see the state of my lovely town #Cromer. But walls can be rebuilt, and the town's spirit is indomitable

    1108: Suffolk Police

    tweets: People who evacuated homes prior to flood are advised, as a precaution, not to return home until after high tide this lunchtime. #floodaware

    1111: Mark Lyons in Wisbech, Cambridgeshire

    emails: I was in Wisbech last night and it was a close call. The port area was flooded and if the tide hadn't turn when it did, things would have been far worse. The flood defences that were erected in 1980, after the town was badly flooded in 1978, did their job. It was the first time they've been used since they were constructed.

    Lowestoft flooding

    The emergency services are dealing with flooding in Lowestoft.

    1114: National Rail

    tweets: Trains are now able to run between Ipswich and Felixstowe and Norwich and Great Yarmouth #UKStorm

    At the scene 1123: Nick Beake BBC News reporter

    Last night I was in Jaywick, where the waves were pummelling the sea defences just metres from houses -many were holiday homes built in the 50s and not necessarily designed to last.

    Around 02:00 GMT, high tide came. We witnessed the nervousness as the water began splashing over the sea wall.

    With his fleece zipped right up to his neck, Jim Benson shook his head as the waves came crashing in.

    "I'm very scared at the moment. I've never seen it come this high, it's never been this high. But we've got a little bit of a barricade just behind here, it's got to come up another metre," he said.

    With his house a stone's throw from nature's clutches, Jim was hoping today's storm defences would prevent a repeat of previous flooding here. And as the minutes ticked by, the head-shaking gave way to a contented nod.

    "The defences have done their job...this would've been over the top now, right across Jaywick in the 50s. This wall has held."


    Sam Seaton, 34, said she was "devastated" as she returned to her Boston home and surveyed the damage. The downstairs floor of her house had been left sodden and it seemed water had risen by at least one foot, ruining plasterwork and electrics.

    "I lifted my new sofas up off the floor before I left but they are still wet at the bottom, so the water must have come up to a foot or two high," she said.

    "We can't come back in here today, we just have to stay with friends or family and start thinking about the clean-up. It's gutting, I'm devastated."

    Waves in Hemsby

    Waves crash onto the beach after a storm surge in Hemsby.

    1148: RNLI

    tweets: FLOOD NEWS: Wells-next-the-Sea lifeboat station in Norfolk flooded by storm surge but lifeboats still ready to launch

    1152: Environment AgencySE

    tweets: Today's closure of #Thames Barrier will be 126th time. More info on how we decide whether to close it here.

    1155: Dave Hardy from Grimsby

    emailed this picture of damaged railings at the seafront in Cleethorpes. He wrote that a lady watching the storm surge and high tide, but dazed by the rising sun, went to lean on the railings. What she didn't realise was that they had been ripped away last night and so she fell six feet onto the beach. Dave says that she was rescued from the waves by a local man.

    Dave Hardy's picture of the damaged railings at Cleethorpes Dave Hardy's picture, taken at 09:15 GMT of the damaged railings at Cleethorpes seafront
    1158: PublicHealthEngland

    tweets: Feeling tired, anxious & having difficulty sleeping is normal after you've been #flooded. Contact friends and family for support #Floodaware

    1159: Hywel Griffith BBC correspondent
    Flood damage

    tweets: Some of the #flood damage people have been showing me in their homes in Rhyl

    1206: East Riding Council

    tweets: Council vehicles are clearing debris from road gullies and sludge from roads as the flooding clear-up operation continues.

    1207: Dave Hardy from Grimsby

    emailed this startling image of the huge waves that have been battering Cleethorpes seafront. He captured this picture at 09:15 GMT

    Waves on Cleethorpes seafront Dave Hardy caught this image of Cleethorpes seafront at 09:15 GMT
    Steven Connolly

    Steven Connolly's home is one of those which went into the sea in a "matter of minutes" in Hemsby.

    He says: "People who I don't know from Adam from all over the village formed a human chain to get some of my stuff out of the chalet and into storage. I'm very upset - we don't know if insurance is going to cover it. We just don't know what's going to happen."

    1210: James Cook Scotland Correspondent, BBC News

    Power firms are still dealing with fallen trees, debris, structural damage, road closures, lightning strikes and lines icing.

    Scottish Hydro says Ceannocroc, Jura, Crinan, Inverneil, Campbeltown, Tarbert, Deeside, Donside, Elgin, Huntly, Ardgay, Foyers, Drumnadrochit, Nairn, Speyside, Lochearnhead, Dalchonzie, Aberfoyle and Aberfeldy are affected.

    Scottish Power say Dumfries and Galloway and Borders affected but also faults elsewhere including Lanarkshire, Ayrshire, Lothians.


    Lincolnshire Police have confirmed it is now safe for residents affected by the floods to return to their homes.

    The force asks residents to make contact with a uniformed officer on the street so they can assess safety before they re-enter the property.

    Cromer pier

    BBC Radio Norfolk reporter Nikki Fox has taken photos of the damage to Cromer Pier caused by the storm surge. See more pictures on their Facebook page here.

    1222: Richard Hill in Stavanger, Norway

    emails: Stavanger was battered yesterday evening and throughout the night. It was fully closed for the first time in living memory. The airport was closed for several hours and many buildings have been damaged.

    1229: Shaun in Dover

    texts: I was in the port of Dover at work last night. The port was shut for a while and the electricity went off. Water flooded the ramps and car parks. I'm waiting to see what happens at high tide again.

    A rescue team pulls a boat with an evacuee on board through flood water in Boston, England

    Here is a gallery of some of the best images showing the impact of the storm which has hit the UK.


    More on the operation to rescue the residents of the Hunstanton Sea Life Sanctuary in Norfolk after power was lost last night. The centre is home to a variety of tropical sharks and a green sea turtle.

    General manager Nigel Croasdale said: "My displays team and three other staff worked right through the night and we have all been very anxious about the welfare of our resident creatures.

    "I cannot praise them highly enough, and so far their efforts have paid off with not a single fish or other resident lost."

    House in Hemsby

    Here's the full story on the seven cliff-top homes washed into the sea at Hemsby, Norfolk.

    Ray Mooney, who was inside his home as the storm hit, said: "I heard a crash and whole back part of the floor caved in. Everything went down."

    He said he was assessing the damage but expected the property to be either demolished or washed out to sea. "This is my only asset," he said. "That's it, I haven't got anything else. I had just done the house up to sell but now I have nothing. I'm homeless."


    1241: Peter Steggles in Altass, in the Scottish Highlands

    emailed this picture of the snow in Altass near Sutherland in the north-west highlands of Scotland. Many people in the area have been left without power after the storms hit on Wednesday night.

    Peter Steggles' picture of snow in Altass, Scotland Peter Steggles took this wintry picture near Sutherland in the Scottish highlands this morning.
    1246: Benedict in Southampton

    emails: Half my parents' village in the Humber region is flooded and they have people taking refuge in the school, village hall and with neighbours on higher ground.


    The Met Office has warnings for ice in parts of Scotland and northern England for Friday overnight into Saturday.

    Iain Brown in Aberdeen

    emailed this beautiful image of snow which he captured from his office window at Aberdeen Royal Infirmary at 10:45 GMT

    Iain Brown's picture of snow as seen from Aberdeen Royal Infirmary Snow in Aberdeen as pictured by Iain Brown

    Great Yarmouth Borough Council has confirmed that seven homes have been affected - three have fallen into the sea, four more are under threat. Fire officers have been helping people to leave this morning.


    BBC Midlands correspondent Sian Lloyd in Hemsby says local people are very angry and say there are no sea defences. They have been running a fund-raising campaign for their own and are calling on the government to act.

    1303: S Rogers in Lowestoft

    emailed to say: Lowestoft got off lightly, but as usual local media whipped residents into a frenzied panic and schools overreacted. The storm is over now and sea defences have done their job. Pictures of holiday chalets tumbling into the sea don't surprise me, that's the risk you take living right on top of the beach.

    1309: Frank Roscoe in Ramsgate

    emailed this picture of a seal taken in Ramsgate harbour at high tide at 00:15 GMT. He wrote that it was swimming around the harbour and decided to haul itself out to have a look at the car. It provided a moment of light entertainment whilst everyone was bracing themselves for the worst. He said everyone was waiting to see if the car was going to be washed into the harbour as the owner was one of several people who had left their vehicles parked very close to the edge.

    Frank Roscoe's picture of a seal in Ramsgate harbour at high tide last night. Seal in the car park at Ramsgate harbour at high tide last night. Photo: Frank Roscoe

    Lincolnshire Police have released a statement on the situation there.

    They say: "Residents can return home, but they are asked to make sure they talk to a uniformed officer in their street before they enter their property. The officers will assess the risk first. Any residents who return to properties that have flooded and have any concerns over the safety of gas and electricity supplies should not use them. Contact your providers and get expert advice."


    Video footage from the Humberside Police helicopter shows the extent of flooding along a stretch of the Humber. Watch here.

    1320: Gemma in Keadby

    tweeted to say: Spent the morning clearing the flood damage, got 10-minute warning to evacuate last night... evacuated minutes before flood hit with 13-week-old baby.

    1321: BBC Weather

    tweets: Next high #tides on the east coast.

    1331: BBC Weather

    tweets: Taken any photos of the recent weather? Send them into and we'll select some for the website or TV.

    1350: Public Health England

    tweets: More advice on dealing with a #flood is available in this leaflet #Floodaware @EnvAgency

    Mike Page took this aerial shot showing the destruction at Hemsby, where seven homes slipped into the sea

    Mike Page took this aerial shot showing destruction in the village of Hemsby, Norfolk, where seven cliff-top homes were washed into the sea. The homes had stood 30ft (9m) above the shore.


    On Saturday and Sunday, parts of the UK will see light winds but the weather will be much milder, say BBC forecasters. No storms are forecast for next week.

    A wave hits the flooded Harbour Road in Helsingborg, southern Sweden

    It is not just the UK being lashed by severe weather - hurricane-force winds and tidal surges elsewhere in Europe have killed five people. Read our full story here. Pictured is the scene on the coast of the town Helsingborg, southern Sweden.


    The Environment Agency is warning people to "remain vigilant" in the aftermath of the tidal surge. Watch a video of agency spokesman Peter Fox here..


    Buses are replacing trains between Barton-on-Humber and Cleethorpes until further notice, National Rail says.

    inside a rescue centre People in Jaywick sheltered at rescue centres, including this one in Clacton

    The BBC's Nick Beake spent the night in an Essex school with people evacuated from their homes ahead of the North Sea storm surge. Read about his experience here..

    Barry Kilner, of the Environment Agency
    Temporary flood barrier now being deployed at #Shoreham Airport

    tweets: Temporary flood barrier now being deployed at #Shoreham Airport #westsussex by the ops field team #floodaware


    The thousands of people told to leave homes along the Essex coast have been told they can return, BBC Essex reports. Jaywick, Maldon and Mersea Island were the worst affected areas.


    Matthew Reville, media officer for Environment Agency Anglia, tweets:

    Tidal surge flood code update (Friday 2.15pm)

    | 7 severe flood warnings |

    | 49 flood warnings |

    | 22 flood alerts |


    First Hull Trains services are now running normally between Hull and London Kings Cross following damage caused by the storm, says National Rail.


    Greater Anglia are reporting there are currently 32 train cancellations on their network. There will be no services on the following routes until further notice: Norwich to Lowestoft and Ipswich to Lowestoft, via Saxmundham. The Ipswich to Felixstowe service and Norwich to Great Yarmouth trains are now running normally.

    Jade Lear
    Remains of the beach cafe in Caister-on-Sea

    from Caister-on-Sea in Norfolk went for a walk with a friend along the seafront when they spotted the remains of the beach cafe.

    Flood damaged lifeboat hut at Hemsby

    The BBC News helicopter has filmed the destruction left on the Norfolk and Suffolk coasts, where a clear-up operation has begun.

    EA incident room

    Trevor Alan Bond, of the Environment Agency, tweets: Busy in the #Ipswich incident room this afternoon. Stay safe #UKStorm


    Don't forget to check the Environment Agency's live flood warning map here. The EA currently has around a dozen severe flood warnings - indicating potential danger to life - in place. For the latest list, which is updated every 15 minutes, click here.


    A pod of porpoises has been spotted in the Thames - and the Marine Conservation Society says it could be down to the severe weather. A spokesman says: "It could well be related, either to the tidal movement, or as a response to the particularly rough seas beforehand. The outer Thames Estuary would have been relatively sheltered from northerly offshore winds." Send any pictures and videos of the pod to

    Thames Barrier

    Here's a picture of the Thames Barrier in action in London this afternoon, courtesy of the Metropolitan Police's helicopter - which can be found on Twitter as @MPSinthesky.

    Norfolk Police

    tweets: Thousands of residents advised that there's no longer a need for them to stay away from their homes. Read the advice in full here

    Alan Environment Agency at the Thames Barrier

    tweets: We reached a differential of 2.17m either side of the #ThamesBarrier seen here from gate Alpha


    Just a reminder of the latest developments today:

    • The tidal surge that hit the east coast of England is being described as the "most serious" for 60 years
    • Two people have died and thousands have been forced to abandon their homes as tides in parts of the North Sea reached higher levels than the devastating floods of 1953
    • Flood waters have receded in many areas - but authorities warn that high tides later on Friday could cause further damage

    Full story here.

    1508: Breaking News

    A man who died after being struck by a falling tree during the storm has been named by police as John Arthur White, 83, of Retford, Nottinghamshire.

    1512: Nikki Fox, reporter, BBC Look East
    Damaged floor at Cromer Pier

    I've spent the morning in Cromer. People were watching the waves crashing across the broken sea wall, but there was relief in the town the pier had survived without major structural damage - although much of its wooden floor has been ripped up by the sea.


    Rhyl residents have been rehoused after streets were flooded with sea water caused by the storm surge. Denbighshire council has found accommodation for 35 people, while others made their own arrangements.


    Norfolk Police tells thousands of residents that there is no longer a need for them to stay away from their homes. A spokesman adds: "The second high tide did not lead to any major incidents so the closure of rest centres will now be staggered to ensure residents and property owners can return in a safe manner."

    1517: Murray Grigo-McMahon in Copenhagen

    emailed some pictures of the damage the storms have caused in the Danish capital city. This image shows some scaffolding that was blown down by high winds in Nikolaj Plads

    Scaffolding blown down by high winds in Copenhagen. Photo: Murray Grigo-McMahon Scaffolding blown down by high winds in Copenhagen. Photo: Murray Grigo-McMahon

    Former warehouse man Steven Connolly has told the Daily Express how he rushed into his collapsing bungalow to save his kittens moments before it fell off a cliff in Hemsby, Norfolk. "Suddenly we heard a shout 'it's going, it's going' and we watched our kitchen get ripped apart. The whole house collapsed before our eyes. We're devastated at what we've lost but at least me, Jackie [his wife] and the kittens are safe."

    1521: Michael Larman in Deal, Kent

    emailed us this picture taken from the top deck of Deal pier in Kent this afternoon.

    View from top deck of Deal pier this afternoon by Michael Larman View from top deck of Deal pier this afternoon by Michael Larman

    The Environment Agency says the greatest danger has now passed following the tidal surges in the last 24 hours, ITV Anglia News reports.


    Many of this morning's papers were full of photographs of the devastation. The Daily Star reported how "142mph killer winds were lifting people into the air", while the Daily Mail said Britain was braced for the "worst floods in 60 years". Read more about how the UK's newspapers covered the events here.


    The BBC's Chris Eakin, in Hemsby, Norfolk, tells the News Channel it looks like the area could face further problems later at high tide. Seven cliff-top homes have already collapsed into the sea there, along with a local lifeboat station.


    Hundreds of seals are feared dead following the tidal surge, reports the Eastern Daily Press. The Friends of Horsey Seals, whose volunteers monitor the seals born on the east coast every winter, said that only 177 pups have been counted on Horsey beach this afternoon. There were 440 pups earlier this morning before the second tidal surge.


    UK Power Networks says it is checking the electrical equipment of about 200 flooded homes in the Lowestoft area. It says it will take "several days" to carry out the checks and has asked people without power to phone 0800 783 8838.

    The Northern Powergrid has issued this aerial shot of flooding over north Lincolnshire, taken as their air crews check for overhead line network damage

    The Northern Powergrid has issued this aerial shot of flooding over north Lincolnshire, taken as air crews check for overhead line network damage.


    North Wales newspaper the Daily Post reports that around 350 homes are still without power after floods in Rhyl. Scottish Power has drafted in additional resources to restore electricity to homes as soon as possible, it says.

    1552: Mayomikun Akin-Oteniya in Sandwich, Kent

    emailed some pictures of parts of the Kent town of Sandwich under water, including this one of a children's playground.

    Playground under water in Sandwich, Kent. Photo: Mayomikun Akin-Oteniya Playground under water in Sandwich, Kent. Photo: Mayomikun Akin-Oteniya

    The Rhyl Journal described the tidal surge in the town, along with Prestatyn and Kinmel Bay, as the worst to hit the region for more than 20 years. Rhyl mayor Andy Rutherford told the paper he had heard "many upsetting stories" after visiting the affected areas.


    The BBC's Chris Eakin, in Hemsby, Norfolk, tells the BBC News Channel severe flood warnings are reducing as each hour passes. This morning there were more than 50 in place for England and Wales, whereas there are now only 12.


    BBC forecaster Louise Lear offers a glimmer of hope, saying we could be in for a bit of blue sky and sunshine this weekend. However, wintry weather is set to continue across many parts of the country, with a dusting of snow possible across northern parts of Scotland.

    1605: Gemma Beacock in Keadby, north Lincolnshire

    emailed this picture of her ruined kitchen. She told the BBC she, her husband and 13-week-old son, Edward, were evacuated from their home last night with little warning. "The knock at the door came at 6.50 in the evening, we had to leave by 7. If we hadn't been told by our neighbour, we wouldn't have had time to pack anything."

    Gemma Beacock's flooded kitchen in Keadby, north Lincolnshire Gemma Beacock's flooded kitchen in Keadby, north Lincolnshire

    Dean Sanders, of Humberside fire and rescue, tells the BBC News Channel the situation is "steadily improving" in Humberside and north Lincolnshire after a "very challenging 24 hours". "The danger to life and limb has certainly passed," he adds, but firefighters remain on high alert.


    Are you attending the Great Christmas Pudding Race, or Bath, Cardiff or Birmingham's Christmas markets? The Met Office has produced a handy video forecast so you know what to expect weather-wise. Watch here.

    Storm damage

    How do you go about making a claim if your home or business has been damaged by the storm? Find out here.

    1619: Public Health England

    tweets: For food safety advice after flooding, including how to make baby food without mains water, contact @foodgov or visit the Food Standards Agency website #Floodaware

    Waves graphic

    Charts used by surfers to find big waves have recorded this week's winter storm in vivid colour. See a bigger graphic here.

    Ben Brown

    The BBC's Ben Brown, in Boston, Lincolnshire, says the water rose to between knee and waist-height in central parts of the town at the height of the flooding.


    The MP for Boston and Skegness, Mark Simmonds, tells the BBC News Channel "the flood devastation is really quite significant in central Boston" - the number of properties affected is "anywhere between 300 and up to 2,000".


    Mr Simmonds adds that there is a "real sense of community" in Boston and a sense that people are "pulling together and helping each other to get life back to normal as quickly as possible".


    John Orr, of the Environment Agency, tells the BBC News Channel the storm surge in eastern England was significantly bigger than that of 1953. "We've seen a testing of our defences that is unprecedented really," he says.

    Debris litters the promenade in the coastal town of Cromer in Norfolk

    Debris litters the promenade in the coastal town of Cromer, Norfolk. Click here for more pictures from around the UK.

    1654: Environment Agency

    tweets: Please continue to be vigilant to the risks of flooding. Sign up for free flood warnings here #floodaware #ukstorm


    Just a reminder that 12 severe flood warnings remain in place for England - seven in the Anglian region and five in the South East.

    1705: Breaking News

    A lorry driver who died after his HGV was blown on top of two cars in West Lothian has been named by police as Robert Dellow, 54, from Lowestoft, in Suffolk.

    1709: Lynsay Cook

    tweets : Hours of flood defence work at folks' business y'day, to no avail. Completely engulfed overnight. Massive clean-up today #Lowestoft #Storm


    More than 12,000 homes and businesses in Lincoln and the surrounding area are without power this evening. Electricity was lost at around 16.30 GMT, causing significant disruption in the city centre. Western Power says supplies should be restored by 18:00.


    BBC Radio Lincolnshire is currently broadcasting on an emergency generator because of the power loss.


    In Hull, sea levels peaked at 5.8 metres - highest level there since 1953 - and 4.7 metres in Dover, Kent, its highest recorded in over a century.


    About 11,000 homes are still without electricity in Scotland but transport services are getting back to normal after widespread disruption across the country.


    Power has now been restored in Nettleham, Lincolnshire.


    The number of severe flood warnings in England now stands at 10 - with seven for the Anglian region and three for the South East, the Environment Agency says.

    1758: Roger Williams

    tweets: It was rough in Liverpool earlier. Wheelie bins blown everywhere! Tree problem at Chirk now I see. #UKstorm


    About 10,000 homes are still without electricity in Scotland as power firms work to restore supplies after Thursday's storms. Full story here.


    Hurricane-force winds and tidal surges have killed at least seven people in northern Europe - three in Poland, two in the UK, one in Sweden and one in Denmark.


    Around 1,800 homes are being evacuated in the village of Wyberton near Boston because of fears of flooding.


    The flood defence in Wyberton was damaged after Thursday night's tidal surge and emergency planners are asking residents to evacuate as a precaution during high tide, expected at about 20:20 GMT. A number of rest centres are being set up and police are in the area advising people.


    A flood alert has been issued for the Essex coast from Clacton to St Peters Flat, including the River Colne and Blackwater Estuaries, the Environment Agency says.


    That's all for our live updates on the UK storm and tidal surge. You can still follow all the latest developments here.


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