Communities warned to stay safe as Storm Eunice prompts severe flood alerts

The Environment Agency is urging people living in flood risk communities in the Severn and Wye estuaries to take immediate action to prepare for flooding from a forecast tidal surge caused by Storm Eunice this Friday.

The tidal surge is expected on Friday morning, and the Environment Agency is urging people to take steps to protect themselves and their property from the risk of flooding.

The Agency has issued 9 Severe Flood Warnings along the Severn and Wye due to the high risk of flooding from Avonmouth and up the Severn into Gloucestershire and along the Wye from Chepstow to Monmouth.  Severe Flood Warnings indicate that there is a risk to life. A further 20 Flood Warnings are also in place.

Flood barriers have also been deployed further up the region in Shrewsbury, Frankwell and Beales Corner in Bewdley and officers are ready to deploy barriers at Ironbridge if needed.

Residents are urged to sign up to Environment Agency Flood Warning messages and to make sure they are prepared for flooding by following the ‘Prepare, Act, Survive’ guidance.

Kay Champion, the area incident duty manager at the Environment Agency, said: “The arrival of Storm Eunice overnight on Thursday has the potential to cause severe flooding with overtopping of defences, very strong winds and high waves. There is potential for record water levels along the Severn and Wye estuary.

“We are closely monitoring the situation and working closely with our partners. Our incident response staff are checking defences.

“We urge people to make sure they are prepared by signing up to Flood Warnings and making sure they are in a safe place by following guidance from emergency services.

“We also strongly urge people to stay away from the coast during the storm as there is a real risk to life during these severe high winds.”

The Met Office has issued a red warning for strong winds from Storm Eunice. This could cause a storm surge and flooding from large waves, potentially affecting communities in the Severn and Wye estuaries on Friday.

Flooding is possible from Sharpness and up the River Severn into Gloucestershire and along the Wye to Chepstow. With the Met Office weather warning in place people should take extreme care near the estuary and any coastal areas.

People are being urged to stay safe and warn wave watchers against the unnecessary danger of taking ‘storm selfies’.  Low lying roads and footpaths should be avoided during this time.