Essex tidal surge: All Jaywick's residents evacuated

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Media captionHomes behind in Jaywick are being evacuated as a precaution

About 2,500 homes on the Essex coast are being evacuated as the area prepares for a potential tidal surge.

Chief fire officer David Johnson said the homes in 61 streets in Jaywick were being evacuated with flood levels expected to reach 50cm (20in) from the top of the sea wall.

He said people should start packing some belongings and those who could voluntarily leave the area should.

Three severe flood warnings, indicating danger to life, have been issued.

They include the coast from Clacton to Lee Wick and at Mistley, Brantham and West Mersea.

More than 20 severe flood warnings are in force in Norfolk, Suffolk and Essex.

'Not to panic'

Mr Johnson said the whole of Jaywick would be evacuated.

He said: "The information that we have from the Environment Agency is that the water is going to be about half a metre from the top of the sea defences, but obviously with some significant winds blowing there will be waves over the top of those defences.

"The decision has been taken to evacuate Jaywick as best we can as a purely precautionary exercise and I would urge people not to panic."

People will be evacuated to school buildings in the Clacton area, he said.

"If people are able to voluntarily leave and stay with friends and relatives overnight that is always a good idea and will be very helpful."

He said police officers would be knocking on every door in the village and asking people to leave.

"We can't force people to evacuate their homes, but as a purely precautionary exercise it would be sensible to do so," said Mr Johnson.

The rail line between Norwich and London was disrupted by damage to overhead wires caused by falling trees in Diss, Manningtree and Wivenhoe.

A Greater Anglia trains spokesman said: "At present there are no services in either direction between Colchester and Norwich.

"There is currently a reduced service running between London and Colchester in both directions with delays up to 60 minutes.

"Services between London and Southend/Southminster and stopping services between London and Shenfield are running a full timetable this evening."

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