Evacuation of homes in Jaywick, Mistley and West Mersea will begin immediately to keep residents safe ahead of expected severe flooding tonight.

A severe flood warning is in place for Jaywick, Mistley and West Mersea for high tide tonight, expected around 0015.

A full evacuation plan for both Jaywick, Mistley and West Mersea was triggered at 1040.

Essex Police Chief Inspector Russ Cole said: “I need residents in Jaywick, Mistley and West Mersea to comply with police instruction and evacuate immediately. Latest forecasting tells us that risk has moved to the next high tide expected just after midnight. That threat has led to a severe flood warning being put in place for tonight’s high tide.”

“Keeping people safe is our only priority and we will be evacuating residents from Jaywick, Mistley and West Mersea and need people to comply with our instructions. That evacuation is most safely executed in daylight hours. We are activating our evacuation plans and are working closely with other partners including the other emergency services, local authorities, health and social care.”

A rest centre has been established at Tendring Education Centre, Jaywick Lane, Clacton, CO16 8BA will be able to accommodate Jaywick residents until their homes are deemed safe to return to. Domestic pets will be accommodated but any which require specialised care will not be able to be taken to the rest centres. Can accommodate around 1600 people.

Residents in Mistley will also be evacuated to Tendring Education Centre.

A rest centre at the Mica Centre, 38a High Street, West Mersea CO5 8QA, will be able to accommodate Mersea residents until their homes are deemed safe to return to. Domestic pets will be accommodated but any which require specialised care will not be able to be taken to the rest centres.

Police will be patrolling in the areas from where people have been evacuated to ensure property left unattended is as secure as possible.