Flood warnings issued by the Environment Agency led to thousands of people in East Anglia leaving their homes yesterday .

Tides peaked this morning along the East Anglian coast, but there were no major breaches of sea defences, despite fears of the biggest tidal surge for 50 years. The waters peaked at 20cm lower than they were expected to.

The worst was now over, said Environment Secretary Hilary Benn ? although he added that it had been a ‘close run thing’.

Strong winds and high tides had combined with the North Sea surge, which was moving south, on Friday morning, which had created fear of widespread flooding in East Anglia. However, the Environment Agency said the surge had ‘lost its power’ by lunchtime.

Bird habitats, however, had a very narrow escape from the floods, and the Royal Society for the Protection of Birds (RSPB) has called on the government to help create more areas of protected habitat.

The floods: action taken

– The Thames barrier was put up as a precaution on Friday morning

– Water breached some sea defences in Great Yarmouth

– Gordon Brown chaired an emergency Cobra meeting at 6am on Friday

– Flooding breached the wall in Walcott, Norfolk, causing some damage to houses

– Felixstowe docks are closed

– One railway has suspended services between Lowestoft and Norwich due to flooding on the line

– Two roads in Great Yarmouth have reopened after being closed

For the latest information on flood warnings, in East Anglia or elsewhere, call the Environment Agency’s Floodline on 08459 881188.

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