• Up to 2,500 homes to be evacuated in high-risk areas
  • Police will start alerting people in Jaywick from 4pm today
  • Flooding threat will reach peak at lunchtime on Friday
  • Emergency centre set up at former Bishops Park College
  • Full evacuation plan is due to start at 7am tomorrow
  • Police patrols set to protect empty homes from looting
  • Army is on standy-by, says the Environment Agency

THOUSANDS of people on the Tendring coast could be evacuated as fears of severe weather and flooding grow.

A police spokesman said tonight: "We are dealing with the potential evacuation of 2,500 homes in Jaywick and Lee-Over-Sands."

Essex Police said it is responding to the latest severe weather warnings from the Environment Agency by leading a multi-agency response with a full plan in place to oversee the safety of residents likely to be affected by coastal flooding in the north of the county.

The severe weather situation of both rain and strong winds, which is set to potentially cause flooding in Jaywick, is likely to reach its peak at lunchtime tomorrow.

In response to the information provided by both the Environment Agency and the Met Office, the multi-agency group has decided that residents in Jaywick will be evacuated from their homes.

In response to the warnings, centres will also be set up on Mersea at the Mica Centre and Leisure World from 8am.

Colchester Market has also been cancelled.

Echo: TIDAL SURGE: 'We were never worried, that's why we stayed in Jaywick'

  • Emergency services at the scene of the last severe flood alert just over three years ago.

Police officers will call at addresses in Jaywick from 4pm today to advise people that a full evacuation plan will be implemented, starting at 7am on Friday morning.

An emergency rest centre has been established at Tendring Education Centre, in Jaywick Lane, by Tendring Council.

The centre will be ready to take in residents evacuating their homes in Jaywick from 4pm today and will be able to accommodate them until the authorities say their homes are safe to return to.

Domestic pets will be accommodated. But any which need specialist care will not be able to be taken to the rest centre.

Tendring police chief Russ Cole said: “Acting on all the professional guidance and experience of our colleagues at the Environment Agency and the Met Office, a partnership decision has been taken to evacuate the homes in Jaywick to ensure the safety of all residents.

“My officers will start calling at all residences in Jaywick from 4pm this afternoon to advise them that from 7am tomorrow we will be transporting people out of the town to the rest centre.


Chief Insp Russ Cole: "Decision not taken lightly."

“We will also advise that from 4pm they can, of course, self-evacuate and make their own way to the rest centre or to another place of safety at a friend or relative’s home outside of Jaywick.

“This decision has not been taken lightly and has been made in the best interests of all residents to ensure their safety until the severe weather passes.”

Essex Police says it has activated "well-rehearsed contingency plans" and is working closely with other emergency services, Tendring Council and health and social care.

Police will be patrolling in areas where people have been evacuated to ensure property left unattended is as secure as possible.


  • So close: High tide rising at a floodgate near the Martello Tower on December 5, 2013.

A police spokesman said: "We are also mindful of other inclement weather due to hit the county including the wider risk of heavy rain, low temperatures leading to potentially icy road and also the possibility of snow."

Residents in Jaywick are advised to:

• Work with local officers to ensure they follow advice about evacuations.

• Pack a bag of clothes and have any essential medical items ready for when they need to leave home.

• Ensure any valuables and or expensive electrical items such as televisions are stored in higher areas in their homes in case of flooding.

• Contact friends or relatives who live outside Jaywick to see if there is somewhere else they can stay.

Residents can get the latest information and advice from the Essex Police website at essexpolice.uk or the Environment Agency at environnment-agency.gov.uk.


  • The sea threatened to breach coastal defences in 2013.

The public are advised to contact the police on the non-emergency number 101 if they have any concerns about their safety or that of their family. In an emergency the public should call 999.

People can also call the Environment Agency Floodline on 0345 988 1188 for the latest flood warnings in their own area.

The Environment Agency this afternoon confirmed it was expecting to issue severe flood warnings for Jaywick, Mistley Quay and West Mersea.

The agency warned of large waves causing flooding into Saturday morning, which could also carry dangerous debris, such as large rocks.
Spokesman Mark Johnson said: “Gale force winds and high tides are likely to create large and dangerous waves along parts of the east coast on Friday and Saturday. These conditions are likely to cause flooding to coastal properties and roads.

“We understand that powerful tides can be dramatic, but please do not put yourself at unnecessary risk by going to the coast for a thrill or to take pictures. Please do not drive through flood water - just 30cm of flowing water is enough to move your car."

He added: “We are prepared to take action wherever it is needed. We have moved resources and equipment to the coast and the Army is on standby to assist if needed."