BEACH hut owners were warned not to attempt to clear up after high tides swept away their prized huts.

The message came as the north Essex coastline is braced for more flooding in the days to come.

The chaos, in the wake of Storm Ciara, also lead to drivers becoming trapped on The Strood in Mersea and flooding in Brightlingsea.

A flood alert was issued for the coastline today with another high tide expected but luckily there was no more flooding.

Sarah Chandler, chairman of Brightlingsea Beach Hut Association, said “most or possibly all” beach huts in the town had been affected.

In 2013, beach huts were damaged after what was described as the most serious tidal surge in 60 years.


  • Picture Ant Niles

She said: “High tides of over 5m are expected for the next couple of days, so please keep safe and don’t attempt any clear up yet.

“Tendring and Brightlingsea councils have visited and the association will work closely with them in the aftermath, just as we did in 2013.

“When able to do so, we plan to organise a meeting to discuss next steps.

“As last time, we hope that the community centre will be our venue and the councils and insurers will be there.

“We’re sorry to see such devastation again, but hope that lessons can be learnt and practical steps taken to cope better the next time the tide comes over.”


  • Picture Ant Niles

Tendring Council advised people to avoid the floodwater.

A spokesman said: “Our staff have been down to assess the damage as best they can, and helping to run a road closure along the Promenade, throughout the course of today.

“We will do what we need to do to restore beach huts when it is safe to do so, but this cannot be done until the water has receded.

“We will work with Brightlingsea Town Council and the Beach Hut Association throughout this process.

“This incident also serves as a reminder to local residents and businesses to sign up to the flood warning information service from the Environment Agency, so they can be warned ahead of time of future expected flooding.”

A yellow weather warning has also been issued for Essex for the weekend.

Storm Dennis will arrive in the UK on Saturday.

While it is not expected to be as extreme as Storm Ciara, it will bring widespread strong winds and heavy rain.

Over the weekend wind gusts will widely reach in excess of 50mph, even across some inland areas, with gusts of over 60 mph possible over hills, coastal areas and exposed locations.

Heavy rain is also expected with the storm which could result in more flooding.

Steve Ramsdale, chief meteorologist at the Met Office said: “Another spell of very wet and windy ​weather is expected for Saturday, although Storm Dennis is currently not expected to be as severe as Ciara disruption is still likely.

“Our confidence in the forecast means we have been able to issue severe weather warnings well in advance, giving people time to prepare for potential impacts of the storm.”

It could result in delays and cancellations to transport services, damage to power supplies and large coastal waves.