RESIDENTS in Jaywick will get flood warnings on their mobile phones...but a councillor fears they will ignore the texts amid fears their unattended homes will be burgled.

The Environment Agency has announced the introduction of a new text message service to assist people living in areas in East Anglia prone to flooding.

The idea is to alert residents in high-risk parts of the coast as soon as a warning is raised, in order to give them enough time to vitally prepare and seek advice.

Two years ago, many residents in Jaywick and surrounding areas were forced to leave their homes over concerns for their safety due to severe weather warnings.

The seaside village has been plagued with flood worries since the devastating events of 1953, which left 35 dead.

The system could be particularly beneficial, and even lifesaving, for those living in the area as rainfall continues to creep up.

Met Office records show continual rainfall looks set to make this autumn one of the wettest on record.

Ward councillor Dan Casey praised the intention behind the scheme, but fears residents will continue to refuse to leave their properties as they have done in the past.

Mr Casey said: “In Jaywick we live in a flood zone and I still live in it, but when there is a warning most of the residents choose to stay.

“It is a wonderful idea and you can keep warning them, but it is actually getting them out which is the problem.

“You just can’t force them out of their homes because they are worried people will steal their stuff.

“But one of these days the water will come over the top and I really hope no-one is there when it does. God help us.”

At the moment, only mobile phone users on the Vodafone network will be automatically registered to the service but other concerned locals can sign up online.

According to the Government website, flood warnings can be issued by phone, email or text message - a concern for generations struggling with modern technology.

Mr Casey said: “When I first came here, the greatest way to warn people was by using the siren but they decided to get rid of that.

“It is a worry because elderly people in the area don’t always have access to text or the internet. The old-fashioned siren system was by far the best.”

To sign-up to the Environment Agency’s free warnings, visit