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SERVICES 
Wednesday, 19 September, 2001, 16:50 GMT 17:50 UK
Flood warning issued for Norfolk coast
Norfolk Coast
Sea defences on the Norfolk coast have been weakened
The Environment Agency has issued a major flood warning for north-west Norfolk.

People in caravan parks and coastal chalets between Hunstanton south and Snettisham have been warned to leave the area because of the flood risk.

High tides and northerly gales overnight on Tuesday stripped away the single shingle bank which protects the coast between the two areas.

Strong winds continued to batter the coastline on Wednesday, raising fears that the remaining defences could be breached.

Rest centre

As a result, 2000 holiday homes and caravans are at risk.

A rest centre has been set up at the Smithdon High School in Hunstanton to house people with nowhere to go.

Many people stayed there overnight on Wednesday.

Robert Runcie, regional director for the Environment Agency in East Anglia, said: "We are now working closely with the police and local authorities as well as holiday and caravan park owners.

"We want to make sure people who would like to use their facilities are not put at risk when we go through the next predicted high tide this evening."

He added: "Once the winds and tides are out of the way, they can get back to using the facilities safely."

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