Flood warnings are in place along the eastern coast of England, amid fears thousands of homes are at risk from a three-metre storm surge.

The Environment Agency has issued 12 severe flood warnings – meaning danger to life – for the lunchtime high tide at 12:30 GMT and Friday night. An evacuation is under way in Jaywick, Essex, while an operation will begin in Great Yarmouth, Norfolk at 10:00 GMT. It comes as the Met Office has warned of high winds, snow and ice on Friday. The Environment Agency’s severe flood warnings – its highest possible alert – are in place for coastal areas of Essex and Suffolk. There is a risk of “significant” flooding in some areas from the lunchtime high tide, which is expected at about 12:30 GMT, with further warnings issued in Suffolk from 21:45 GMT. Dozens more flood warnings have been issued along the east coast, which is braced for a storm surge brought on by gale-force winds and high tides.  Ahead of the potential storm surge, police officers were going door-to-door in Jaywick, near Clacton-on-Sea, Essex, to inform residents of the need to leave their homes. About 2,500 could be affected, officials have said.

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