Flood fears as Environment Agency warns of impending sea surge

09 November 2007
The Environment Agency last night announced several severe flood warnings as Britain prepares to face a storm surge the likes of which haven’t been seen in over a decade.

UK residents are preparing to evacuate their homes following reports that 50mph winds have caused a tidal surge in the North Sea which have been exacerbated by an unusually high tide and low pressure along the East cost of Britain.

Sea levels are expected to rise up to 9ft and areas such as Great Yarmouth in Norfolk and Lowestoft in Suffolk are thought to be particularly susceptible to the tidal flooding.

The Environment Agency has opened an emergency ‘Floodline’ which people are being advised to call if they are concerned about their area being at risk. Brian Vinall, Flood Incident Management team leader for the Environment Agency in Kent explains:

”Despite the recent flooding elsewhere in the country, there is still a large proportion of people who aren’t registered with our flood warnings service, Floodline Warnings Direct. We would urge anyone who receives a flood warning to check that their neighbours are aware of the warning. We will also have Environment Agency staff out warning people if the risk of flooding does get worse.”

Following the severe storms and flooding over the summer months, the concern is that householders may be under insured and therefore risk substantial losses if they have not checked their insurance policies.

An estimated five million people across the UK live in flood risk areas yet a worrying one in four people is thought to have no form of home insurance. The typical claim for flooding currently stands in the region of £15,000-£30,000, yet home and contents premiums could be as little as £20 a month.

James Harrison, CEO of Insurancewide.com comments: “Anyone living in areas likely to be affected by the flooding that already have a home insurance policy should be fortunate enough to have flood damage included as part of their cover. Most home insurance policies do include this cover as standard but double check the small print.

"If you do suffer flood damage, call your insurer immediately and quote your policy number to register your claim and start the claim process rolling. If temporary repairs are necessary let you insurer know as they may wish to inspect the damage before permanent repairs are carried out. It's really important to keep a record of damage and keep a copy of correspondence with your insurer."

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