The Environment Agency is preparing for an exceptional combination of wind speed, sea surge and tides this evening, which is expected to affect the south coast of Devon and Dorset.

The Agency expects the south coast of Devon to suffer further damage as a tidal surge combines with predicted gale force South Easterly winds.

Rainfall forecast over the next 48 hours will also increase the risk of flooding in already swollen rivers in Devon.

People can stay safe by:

- Keeping away from seafronts and promenades when waves and winds are high

– respect the sea and resist the temptation to ‘wave watch’

"We’re expecting an unusual combination of high winds and high tides on the south coast of Devon and Dorset tonight," said Nick Lyness for the EA.

"We’re warning people to stay away from the shoreline and to be prepared if they live in coastal communities. As we have been since December, our teams are out on the ground making sure that flood defences are in good working order, monitoring sea levels and preparing to issue flood alerts and warnings, and we are working closely with our partners including the Met Office, police and local authorities."

People can follow the Environment Agency in the South West on Twitter at @EnvAgencySW and can sign up for flood warnings by contacting Floodline on a new local rate number: 0345 988 1188.