Coastal Cornwall communities under severe threat of tidal flooding this weekend

Met Office statistics suggest we could be experiencing the wettest ever start to a winter

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The Independent Online

Communities along the south and west coasts of Cornwall were warned that they faced the prospect of tidal flooding this weekend as heavy rain and strong winds are forecast to combine with high tides.

Following Met Office warnings of heavy rain and strong winds for the South West of England, agencies in Cornwall are asking people to prepare for a stormy weekend.

“There is a risk that the combination of the already saturated ground, strong winds and the predicted further rainfall, could cause minor flooding and coastal damage in some areas,” a Cornwall Council spokesman said.

“As a result people living in coastal areas or at risk of flooding are advised to take precautions and not to drive through any flood water,” she added.

More than a hundred homes were being evacuated across Cornwall on Friday, with particular concern for properties in Bude and Portreath.

"Any of the residents, potentially at risk in Bude and Portreath, who do not have somewhere else to go during the periods of high tide - have been given advice and details of how to request assistance," the Council said.

The warning came as Prince Charles prepares to visit Somerset to meet the victims of the floods that have left parts of the country underwater for nearly a month.

The trip is a long-standing engagement originally planned for Charles to learn how residents and businesses coped with flooding in 2012 – but recent events will enable him to view the flooding first hand.

Areas across the UK face further weather chaos as more rain is forecast, with nearly 100 flood warnings and more than 200 flood alerts in place across England and Wales.

The Environment Agency has issued severe flood warnings - meaning a danger to life - for the coastlines of Cornwall, North Devon, Somerset, Plymouth Barbican.

A band of heavy rain swept across the South West, West Wales and southern England on Friday, with 20mm to 1.2in 30mm set to fall across many parts, and as much as 40mm on high ground.

Meanwhile, the months of December and January look like being the wettest start to a winter for decades – if not ever.

According to the Met Office there was 349.2mm of rain between the beginning of December and the end of January 28. This is just 17mm short of the record for those months set in 1929/30 when 366.1mm of rain fell over the entire two months.