A FLOOD alert has been issued for the Essex coast.

The alert, issued by Flood Information Service on Friday afternoon, covered the area from Clacton to St Peters Flat, including the Colne and Blackwater estuaries.

A 'flood alert' means flooding is possible and people should be prepared, but the status is not as serious as a 'flood warning' or a 'severe flood warning'.

The service said there was a possibility of some minor flooding to coastal roads and footpaths between 12.45am and 3.45am on Saturday, September 19.

The service said: "Tides may be higher than usual but the forecast is for calm conditions with only small waves at the seafront.

"Clacton Promenade, Lee-over-Sands and Brightlingsea sea front may see some wave overtopping and spray.

"The Strood at Mersea Island, Coast Road and car parks on the front at West Mersea, and the Hythe and Promenade at Maldon may be flooded."

The detailed forecast for those that use it is for a peak level at Clacton of 2.81mAODN at 1.45am on Saturday, which is 0.06m below tide tables, wind Force 5, East North Easterly (mAODN is height above average sea level, for more info refer to local tide tables).

The service added: "You are advised to stay away from risk areas and take care next to the coast.

"We will continue to monitor the situation and will reissue this message for any subsequent tides if required."

This information was last updated at 4.20pm on Friday.