Flood warnings: Alerts in force with heavy rain expected

Water breaking over pier
Image caption Flood warnings are in place around the English coast

Dozens of flood warnings are in place across England, with a yellow rain alert also in force.

The Environment Agency has issued 60 flood warnings and nearly 160 alerts for coastal areas from Mount's Bay in Cornwall to Seahouses, Northumberland.

There is a yellow warning for rain for the Midlands until midnight with another warning for southern England on Tuesday from 06:00.

A precautionary evacuation notice has been issued for parts of Norfolk.

Flood warnings and rain alerts are also in place in Wales, where flooding is affecting travel.

Image copyright Getty Images
Image caption The evacuation notice covers caravans and homes near Hunstanton

Where is the emergency evacuation?

The notice covers caravans and homes between the sea defences at Snettisham and Hunstanton between 07:00 and 10:00 on Tuesday.

The Environment Agency said a high tide at about 08:40 on Tuesday combined with north-westerly winds could result in flooding.

A spokeswoman said the advisory notice applied to about 3,000 properties, the vast majority of which are caravans, with only about 20% thought to be occupied.

A similar notice in February resulted in 12 people being evacuated, the spokeswoman added.

Image copyright Cheryl Fletcher
Image caption Beach huts were washed away in St Leonards, East Sussex

What impact has the rain had so far?

On Sunday, rain caused cliff falls in East Sussex.

Coastguards warned people to keep clear of the crumbling cliffs at Birling Gap after the chalk gave way.

In St Leonards, several beach huts standing on shingle by the sea wall were picked up by large storm waves and washed down the beach.

Image copyright Getty Images
Image caption Roads were flooded in Yorkshire on Sunday

A number of events were cancelled on Sunday because of the wet weather including the Regatta London race on the River Thames.

Organisers of the Cycling Road World Championship changed the course in Yorkshire amid safety concerns.

Image copyright Getty Images
Image caption Heavy rain and flooding affected the Cycling Road World Championships in Yorkshire on Sunday

What is a flood warning?

A flood warning means flooding is expected and "immediate action" is required, including turning off gas, water and electricity, moving items upstairs and moving family, pets and cars to safety.

An alert means flooding is possible and people should "be prepared" by packing a bag containing vital belongings such as medicines and insurance documents, and keep checking flood warnings.

There are no severe flood warnings, meaning a risk to life, yet in force.

Image copyright Getty Images
Image caption A flood warning is in place for Porthleven, Cornwall, which has previously been hit by big swells and flooding

Where is at risk from flooding?

The River Ouse through York is expected to peak on Monday evening with the Environment Agency warning people to avoid low lying roads and footpaths near the water.

Riverside properties in central Boston, Lincolnshire, are also at risk especially in the hours around the high tide due at about 08:20 on Tuesday.

Warnings are also in place along the coast in Cumbria and north-west England, the North East of England and Yorkshire, the south-east coast including Dover and Folkestone, and Cornwall in the south west.

Image copyright Jim Brewer
Image caption A high tide caused flooding in Mevagissey in Cornwall on Sunday

BBC meteorologist Nikki Berry said the heavy rain would affect Wales and England over the next 36 hours until Tuesday evening.

It is coming from the south west and will reach northern England on Monday evening, where it will sit overnight before moving to southern England.

Many places will see between 15 and 25mm of rainfall but some areas could get between 30 and 50mm.

Image copyright Jim Brewer
Image caption Jim Brewer captured photographs of the flooding in Mevagissey

Is the amount of rain unusual?

Ms Berry said the rain was "not especially unusual" but flooding problems will be exacerbated by previous heavy rainfall.

She said it was unconnected with Hurricane Lorenzo, which originated off the coast of West Africa and has been heading towards the UK.

There is "uncertainty" over what effect the storm, which will no longer be a hurricane by the time it reaches the UK on Thursday or Friday, will have as it may pass harmlessly to the north west, Ms Berry said.

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