Britain on flood alert as autumn storms batter east coast and Indian summer is replaced with 'short, sharp shock' of icy, windy weather

The Environment Agency has issued 18 flood alerts and five flood warnings

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The Independent Online

The Met Office has issued a severe weather warning for the east coast of England as Britain braces for 60mph winds and plunging temperatures.

The unusually mild autumn weather is set to come to an end with a "short, sharp shock" of icy, windy weather. Forecasters have warned of a dramatic change in temperatures from today and have forecast gusts of up to 100mph in the Scottish mountains.

The Environment Agency has also issued 18 flood alerts and five flood warnings all in the east and north east of the country. "Spray and waves may overtop sea walls and people are urged to stay safe and avoid coastal paths and promenades," the Agency said on its website.

In Walcott, Norfolk, more than 30 people were evacuated from their homes after flood warnings were issued.

People sought shelter at The Lifeboat Inn, the official flood rescue centre, as the high water hit at 10:45 BST. According to the BBC a force eight north to north-west wind meant the tide was predicted to be 3m high.