Coastal towns battered by floods

High tides and strong winds have brought flooding to towns in the south-west as more warnings are issued to coastal areas.

The harbour master in Looe, in south Cornwall, said the flooding to properties close to the sea was the worst he had seen in the seven years he had been there.

Jeff Penhaligon said the water had subsided after this morning's high tide but the village was now preparing itself for the next one, at about 8pm this evening.

He said: "I've been back here for seven years and it's the worst I've seen. We flood quite regularly with the tides but not normally as bad as this. It's difficult to see exactly who's been affected but I think some of businesses and restaurants near the harbour. It all depends whether people were able to get their storm boards up."

Mr Penhaligon said no fishing boats had gone out today.

Coastal areas across the whole of the south coast and Wales are being monitored by the Environment Agency.

The agency said there were particular concerns for parts of Sussex, Hampshire and the Isle of Wight.

It said a flood warning has been issued for the Bosham area, near Chichester. High tide was expected in Chichester Harbour early on Wednesday afternoon.

The agency said: "For two hours either side there is a risk of overtopping and spray coming over coastal defences. Coastal roads are likely to be affected in an around Bosham and residents are being warned to remain alert."

The flood warning in West Sussex is in force along with another 17 in the south-west of England and nine in Wales as the stormy weather continues.