Flood warnings are in place as Storm Ellen looks set to bring big waves and strong winds to North Devon.

A flood warning has been issued for the North Devon coast as high spring tides coincide with strong winds and large waves, with Ilfracombe, Combe Martin, Lynmouth and Westward Ho! most at risk.

The Envionrment Agency said flooding is possible at high tide on Thursday (August 20), and is expected on Friday morning (August 21).

The warnings are in place as Storm Ellen is set to bring winds of up to 60mph around coastal areas, with gusts of 45-50mph expected inland.

The Environment Agency’s flood warning said: “Flooding is expected over the high tide on Friday morning (August 21).

Flood warnings are in place. Picture: Environment AgencyFlood warnings are in place. Picture: Environment Agency

“High Spring tides, strong winds and large waves are expected to cause property flooding on Friday morning. Flooding of low lying or exposed locations is also possible on Thursday and Friday evenings.

“People are advised to avoid low lying and exposed coastal areas.”

It added: “Tide levels are rising towards spring tides which peak on Friday. Storm Ellen is forecast to bring force six to eight south westerly winds and large waves which are expected to cause wave overtopping and sea spray in exposed locations.”

The flood alerts follow appeals from the RNLI, Coastguard and Devon and Cornwall Police for members of the public to keep safe at the coast.

Chief Inspector Tom Cunningham said: “We are aware there is many thousands of tourists in our coastal communities currently who may not have experienced conditions which we are expecting or be aware of the danger they can bring.

“We would ask everyone to heed the advice of the RNLI and HM Coastguard by not putting themselves, and indeed emergency responders, at risk by entering dangerous waters.

“Beaches are a huge draw to tourists in our region, but our coast needs to be respected by all.

“If you or someone else is in trouble in the sea, you should call 999 and ask for the Coastguard.”