A flood alert is in force for the Brightlingsea and the Essex coast around the Colne and Blackwater estuaries as high spring tides coincide with a tidal surge and strong winds.

The high tide around noon on Friday 13th is causing particular concern and has resulted in the government’s Flood Information Service issuing a “Flood is Possible, Be Prepared” warning for the area.

Brightlingsea Harbour office has warned residents to be aware of high tides over the next few days. Parking around the Hard area is best avoided.

Police officers will be calling at addresses in Jaywick from 4pm this afternoon to advise people that a full evacuation plan will be implemented starting at 7am on Friday. A rest centre has been set up at the Tendring Education Centre in Jaywick Lane from today, and residents will be able to stay there until it is deemed safe to return to their homes.

Chief Insp Russ Cole, district commander at Tendring said: “Acting on all the professional guidance and experience of our colleagues at the Environment Agency and the Met Office, a partnership decision has been taken to evacuate the homes in Jaywick to ensure the safety of all residents.”

For current information, see the Flood Information Service website.