Burnham-On-Sea residents have been warned to expect a period of ‘severely disruptive’ weather with heavy rain, strong winds and high tides over the next few days.
The Environment Agency has issued a series of flood warnings for the region on Friday, Saturday and Sunday when Burnham and other coastal towns will see high tides.
An 11.8m high tide will occur in Burnham at 7.55am on Friday morning and then at 8.20pm on Friday evening.
The Met Office says the latest storm will see bands of locally heavy rain spreading across the UK, with winds gusting to around 60-70mph.
The Environment Agency says tidal flooding is expected in “numerous locations” due to large waves caused by the high tides and gales.
A Flood Warning has been issued here for coastline between the South Esplanade and Berrow including Margaret Crescent, Pier Street, Abingdon Street, The Esplanade, College Street and Regent Street.
SANDBAGS AVAILABLE FROM COUNCIL
A quantity of sandbags is being provided by Sedgemoor District Council to Burnham residents as a precaution. These will be distributed from outside Burnham’s Morrisons supermarket in Pier Street from early on Friday morning, although the council says residents should not rely solely on these.
The Environment Agency’s Pete Fox told Burnham-On-Sea.com: “We are expecting flooding along the west and south coasts of England and Wales, due to a combination of strong winds, large waves and high tides, from the early hours of Friday and into the weekend.”
“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.”
Meanwhile, local emergency services in the Burnham area have been put on standby by Somerset County Council to provide help to residents over the next few days if the storms prove as disruptive as forecast.
Somerset County Council’s Civil Contingencies Unit and Highways Teams are working closely with West Somerset Council, Sedgemoor District Council, Environment Agency and District Councils to prepare.
Paula Hewitt, Director with responsibility for Emergency Planning in Somerset, said: “The precise impact is hard to say, but we are being told that we could be badly affected.”
“We are doing what we can, but in weather like this it’s important that people take common sense precautions – avoid sea front areas, don’t drive into floodwaters and check on vulnerable neighbours if you think they may be at risk in any way.”
The council says homeowners are “strongly urged” to protect their homes. Some sandbags can also be bought from local builders merchants. Instructions on how to use sandbags effectively have been issued here.