Essex village prepares for evacuation


An Essex village is preparing to evacuate as people face a deluge of rain and high winds which could lead to flooding.

Three severe flood warnings - which warn of a danger to life - are in place for Friday lunchtime in coastal areas of the county.

The people of Jaywick, near Clacton-on-Sea, were told on Thursday afternoon that a full evacuation plan would begin at 7am.

As darkness fell in the seaside village on Thursday night, a flood siren could be heard and police had been handing out evacuation advice leaflets to residents.

The letter warned that if they decide to remain in their homes, there is a "high risk" their properties "could be flooded by sea water up to a depth of three metres".

"If flooding does occur then it is anticipated the emergency services will be stretched to their capacity and may not be able to undertake emergency rescue until the flood water has subsided," it added.

It is understood that some people have already left Jaywick, while others will be leaving before midday on Friday - with some refusing to move.

Police are thought to be using a colour coded system to identify those staying put and those who may be vulnerable, so that if flooding occurs they can prioritise who to help.

Pete, 42, a man who has lived in Jaywick for nine years, said he thought the flooding "will be worse than two years ago".

Quizzed about his thoughts on the expected deluge of sea water, he said: "You get used to it, that is what everyone will say around here. It is part of living by the coast."

A seafront resident said she would be staying put "unless things get drastically worse".

Asked why, Rebecca Kenny, 31, said: "I have animals, I also have a big fear of crime.

"Unfortunately Clacton and Jaywick have a high crime rate and recently it's been ridiculously bad for burglaries and I think it would be rich pickings for someone prepared to look around and see who's there and who isn't.

"While I know the police are putting on extra patrols, they can't cover the whole area the whole time.

"With the security risk I don't really want to leave the house."

She added: "Hopefully it will be fine, I'm sure it will be. When it's not horrid, the beach is beautiful and totally worth this."

A similar evacuation took place in December 2013, and Ms Kenny said that many of her neighbours were not planning to leave this time around.

She said: "They think similar to me, that it will probably be very similar to how it went in 2013, and that nothing much will come of it.

"Looking online, in the local groups and things like that, most people aren't planning on leaving either."

Police officers have been telling residents that from 7am they will be taken to a rest centre at Tendring, which has been set up by the district council.