Forecasters have warned people to stay away from the North East coastline today as winds of 80mph are expected to cause flooding.
An amber weather warning has been placed across the whole of the region as gale force winds reaching speeds of between 60 and 80mph are due to hit this morning.
The Environment Agency have advised people to stay away from beaches and promenades as there is an “increased risk of being swept out to sea” as they predict the sea level to rise between about three and four metres.
The “sea surge” is expected as a result of strong winds and large waves which will combine with spring tides to cause a large surge of water on the coastline throughout the afternoon and early into Friday.
John Curtin, the EA’s head of incident management, said: “Gale force winds and large waves along the east coast of England are forecast during Thursday and Friday, coinciding with high tides.
“Impacts could include flooding, affecting some coastal properties and communities. 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.”
North Tyneside Council have urged the public to be cautious on the borough’s beaches which will be significantly more dangerous than usual as a result of the adverse weather.
The council is also in the process of speaking to property owners along the coastline who may be at risk advised them to consider precautions they can take in preparation of flooding.
Householders should ensure that any Christmas trees and festive decorations in their gardens are secure.
Phil Scott, head of environment and leisure services, and the authority’s lead on emergency response, said: “We know that our beaches are popular with dog walkers and we just want to ask people to be more cautious in view of the weather alerts. Other users of the coastline, including anglers will also need to take extra care.”
The windy weather is anticipated to begin this afternoon with potential high tides expected to occur early on Friday morning.
The disruption is also affecting train services with East Coast running a revised timetable throughout the day. Customers can use their tickets to travel on alternative East Coast services at a similar time to their original booked train. Tickets for Thursday will also be valid for travel on Friday.
Customers can check the eastcoast.co.uk website for live service updates and travel information before making their journey.
Newcastle Airport are advising passengers due to travel today to check on their website for any delays or disruptions or to contact flight operators directly.
The Met Office anticipate the severe weather will last most of the day with warnings staying in place until tomorrow. Persistent rain is expected to sweep across the North East from the early hours with winds beginning to strengthen from 6am onwards. Met Office forecaster, Kirk Waite, said: “Through Thursday we expect wind speed gusts of between 60 and 70mph, however, within this amber warning area there is potential gusts could reach 80mph in exposed places but these will ease off later on in the afternoon. This could bring a risk of some coastal effect which is why you could get some coastal flooding.”
To stay informed on updates throughout the day, visit the Environment Agency website or follow @EnvAgency and #floodaware on Twitter.