A FLOOD alert has been issued for the north Essex coast due to high tides and strong winds.

The Environment Agency alert means flooding is possible and people should be prepared.

An alert is a stage down from a 'flood warning', which means flooding is expected and immediate action required.

The alert covered the area from Felixstowe to Clacton, including the Orwell and Stour Estuaries.

Another alert was issued for the Essex coast from Clacton to St Peter's Flat and the Colne and Blackwater estuaries.

The agency said the message was issued because of the forecast for high tides linked to spring tides.

It said tides are expected to be higher than usual and may cause minor flooding in low lying coastal areas.

The agency said: "The forecast indicates a series of risk tides for the next few days.

"High water is due at Clacton at 12.30pm on Thursday.

"We are monitoring the situation closely."

The peak in Clacton is forecast at 3.08metres - which is 0.63m above tide tables - and the wind forecast is Force 6.