RESIDENTS in the South West are bracing themselves for severe bad weather and potential flooding in light of warnings from the Met Office and Environment Agency.

The Met Office is warning of severe weather from the early hours of Sunday as the after effects of hurricane Bertha tracks over, or close to, Cornwall.

While the forecaster says there is still “a great deal of uncertainty” as to how exactly a storm will take shape, thanks to the depression caused by Bertha, it says the public should be alert to the threat of heavy rain, very strong winds, and large waves in coastal areas.

Holiday-makers are also urged to check the forecasts before journeying.

In an update on Saturday (August 9), the Met Office says: “This is a particularly volatile situation, and this alert is likely to be updated as the event approaches.

“The public are advised to keep up to date with the latest forecasts and alerts through the weekend.”

Four flood alerts are currently in place under the Environment Agency’s watch for the Cornish and Devonshire coastlines, with high spring tides and strong winds expected on Sunday and Monday.

Craig Woolhouse, flood risk manager at the Environment Agency, said: “The unseasonal low pressure system looks set to sweep up from the south west, through the Midlands and, towards the Humber from the early hours of Sunday morning.

“We advise people to keep themselves informed by checking flood warnings on the Environment Agency website and listening to local radio.

“If you’re travelling to or from holiday then check your flood risk before setting off, and don’t drive through flood waters.

“If you’re by the coast then stay safe, keep clear of promenades and don’t be tempted to put yourself at risk.”

The Environment Agency will continue to monitor the situation closely, along with the Met Office and local authorities.

To sign up for free flood warnings, check your flood risk and keep up to date with the latest, click here.

Further information and advice can also be found on the Met Office website.