News release text
Kent residents living in coastal areas and along the River Medway are advised to be prepared for potential flooding in the early hours of Friday morning and again on Friday afternoon.
The Environment Agency and Met Office are forecasting that there is a significant risk to people and property as spring tides combine with a coastal surge and significant waves.
A severe flood warning has been issued for Sandwich. Two severe flood warnings are also due to be issued this afternoon ahead of the tide early tomorrow morning for the Medway and Greenhithe areas. Other towns at high risk, which have received a flood alert, include Deal, Rochester, Strood, Sittingbourne and Faversham and low lying properties in Gravesend.
Kent Police, Environment Agency, Kent Fire and Rescue Service, Kent County Council, local authorities and NHS are working together to warn both residents and businesses of the potential flooding.
Motorists are advised not to attempt to drive through flooded roads. People are also advised to avoid coastal and river paths.
Residents are reassured that every day business continues for the emergency services, but are asked to be mindful that they will be very busy over the next 48 hours and to only call 999 if life is in danger or there is an ongoing emergency incident. If you need any health support or advice and it is not an emergency please contact your local GP or ring the NHS 111 service by dialling 111.
Andrew Pearce, the Environment Agency's area manager for Kent and South London, said: ‘Those who live or work in affected areas should keep up to date on local travel advice through radio and TV. 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.
‘Residents are able to call Floodline on 0845 988 1188 for the latest flood warnings in their area. Alternatively visit the Environment Agency website for updates on affected areas.’
Please also check with your travel operator if there are any delays. The Kent Police website will also be updated with information on road closures and localised flooding.