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Flood warnings due to combination of rain and high tides in Sussex
Sussex is bracing itself for more flooding with a dangerous cocktail of strong winds, high tides and heavy rain set for the next few days.
The Environment Agency has issued more than 20 flood warnings across the county with Met Office wind and rain warnings also in place for the weekend.
Residents in coastal areas are being warned to stay away from the water’s edge with high tides and strong gusts capable of washing passers-by out to sea.
It is expected the Agency will also issue a number of their highest level of flood warnings later tonight, indicating a danger to life and property.
Pete Fox, from the Environment Agency, said: “Coastal paths and promenades could be highly dangerous as there is an increased risk of being swept out to sea. People are warned to stay away from the shoreline.
“We are monitoring the situation closely, working alongside partners including the Met Office and local authorities. We also have teams out on the ground making sure that flood defences are in good working order, monitoring sea levels and preparing to issue flood alerts and warnings.”
When The Argus went to print last night a number of areas were already underwater. Heavy rain caused extensive flooding near Alfriston while fields were submerged outside Offham near Lewes.
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In Brighton high winds closed St Luke’s Swimming Pool in St Luke’s Terrace.
Forecasters said winds were expected to whip up from the early hours of this morning with gusts reaching 60mph.
Consistent heavy rain is also forecast for much of today and the weekend. This, combined with the high tides, is expected to cause heavy flooding in coastal areas. The Met Office has issued a yellow warning for wind for today.
A further yellow warning for rain has also been issued for Sunday. Up to 40mm of rainfall is expected with river flooding anticipated.
The warnings come as ministers held an emergency Cobra meeting yesterday.
Among items on the agenda was the time it took companies to restore power to homes over the Christmas period.
Environment Secretary Owen Paterson said: “We had a range of ministers from right across Government attending the meeting, who will be working very closely with local councils, power companies, utility and transport companies, making sure that all of those organisations are absolutely prepared for the bad weather that is coming.”
For the latest check www.theargus. co.uk and the Environment Agency at www.environment-agency.gov.uk.
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