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Highest Flood Warning Possible Issued for Cornwall

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6:53pm 31st January 2014
(Updated 6:53pm 31st January 2014)

Cornwall's coast has been placed on the highest flood warning possible - a severe flood warning.

It means the Environment Agency believes there is a danger to life and homes are being evacuated in Bude and Portreath.

It is in force for Saturday's high tides when officials fear a storm surge, driven on by gale force winds will overwhelm defences in places.

A spokesperson said: "Flooding is expected over the high tides on Saturday morning and afternoon, Sunday and Monday morning. Times of high tide will vary along the coast. Conditions usually apply 2 to 4 hours either side of high tide. A Severe Flood Warning is in force for Saturday morning and evenings tides and a Flood Warning will be in force until Monday morning.

"Wind is forecast to be South westerly force 8 on Saturday morning veering West South Westerly force 10 in the afternoon. Waves are forecast to be over 6m, with a tidal surge around 500mm. Overtopping of coastal defences is expected. Exposed coastal locations are most at risk. Impacts are likely to be similar to coastal flooding in January. Recent storms have caused damage at coastal locations.

"There may be an increased risk of flooding at Bude, Newquay, Perranporth, Portreath, St Ives, Stonehouse, Plympton, Lamorna, Penzance, Porthleven, Mullion, Pentewan, Seaton and Kingsand." Coastal areas will be extremely dangerous, the public are advised to avoid these areas.

We will also get 70mph winds and up to 4cm of rain.

One surfing website has described the approaching storm and 30ft swell as "apocalyptic."

You can get the latest flood alerts, warning and advice here.

Some roads already have deep standing water, making them impassable. You can get the latest information you need to stay safe here.

A fresh weather warning for ice has already been issued for overnight and into tomorrow morning as plummeting temperatures cause roads, awash with water, to freeze.

A spokesperson for the Met Office said: "A further area of heavy rain will spread eastwards across the UK on Friday, clearing the southeast of England during the early hours of Saturday. 20-30 mm of rain will fall quite widely, with around 40 mm on some high ground in the southwest of England and south Wales. The heavy rain will be accompanied by strong to gale force winds.

The public should be aware of possible disruption, primarily due to further flooding, chiefly in areas already, or recently, affected.

"Winds will increase on Saturday, with gusts widely to 50 to 60 mph, and perhaps to around 70 mph in exposed parts of the west and north. Additionally large waves could lead to over-topping along some coastlines. The public should be aware of these hazards.

"A deep Atlantic low will move north close to western parts of the UK on Saturday. Associated very strong winds together with bands of squally showers will affect many parts but particularly western areas.  The combination of very strong winds, large waves and high tides will lead to hazardous conditions at times in some coastal areas. Winds will ease from the south later on Saturday but remain strong in the north into early Sunday."

Michelle Sadler runs The Old Sail restaurant on Looe quay. She said: "We're a little bit concerned. There are reports that change all the time. We just have to get prepared, get the sandbags and boards in, the wellies on and get ready really."

6:53pm 31st January 2014

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