A severe flood warning is now in place for parts of the Devon coast, meaning that people should take immediate action as there is a 'danger to life'.

Low lying and exposed communities between Start Point and Dawlish Warren, including Beesands, Torcross, Slapton, Torbay and Dawlish are warned of the chance of widespread floods.

Overtopping of coastal defences is likely with high energy large waves and spray combined with high spring tides and high winds. Flooding is expected at exposed coastal locations.

Gusts of wind of up to 65 miles per hour and large waves of 6-9 metres are forecast. Beaches, coastal promenades, roads and footpaths will be extremely dangerous. The public are advised to avoid these areas

This is due to high spring tides and significant surge combined with large waves from the south west. It is feared that this will lead to flooding at "numerous locations".

The worst effects will be on coasts that face a south-westerly direction. The Environment Agency is working with professional partners to make "necessary preparations".

The time and date of forecast high water at Dawlish is 06:45 on 03 Jan 2014. The predicted astronomical tide level is 2.73mAOD. The forecast surge height is 0.40m. The forecast wind direction is SW. The forecast wind strength is Force 8.

The local time of high water is 05:42 at Newlyn and 06:50 at Devonport. At Devonport the predicted astronomical tide level is 2.75mAOD. 

Times of high tide will vary along the coast. Conditions will usually apply 2-4 hours either side of high tide.