Essex floods: Jaywick residents leave rescue centres

Baby evacuee
Image caption Hundreds of people young and old had to leave their homes in Essex before the tidal surge hit
inside a rescue centre
Image caption Residents in Jaywick took shelter at rescue centres, including this one in Clacton
car park in Brightlingsea
Image caption The seafront at Brightlingsea was flooded, with water gushing into streets and car parks
Beach huts at Walton-on-the-Naze
Image caption At Walton-on-the-Naze many beach huts did not survive the battering from waves

A mother and baby were among those rescued in Essex during the biggest tidal surge in 60 years.

The pair were caught in the flooding in Brightlingsea shortly before 02:00 GMT and were rescued by a fire crew.

Among the areas worst affected were West Mersea, Maldon and Jaywick - though seven other flood warnings were issued during the night.

Police say the "full picture" in terms of the damage caused by the surge may not be known "for some time".

About 400 residents from Jaywick took shelter at a rescue centre set up in Clacton County High School.

All evacuees have now returned home as the power has been restored to the area following the flood warnings and high tides.

The rescue centre has now been closed.

Ch Supt Simon Williams 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," he added.

The Environment Agency said "in some places" the water reached higher levels than in the surge of 1953.

In Walton on the Naze, beach huts were reported washed away into the sea.

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Media captionThe BBC's Nick Beake spoke to people in Clacton-on-Sea in Essex, who evacuated their homes overnight

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