FLOODS are presenting a risk to life - meaning businesses and residents are being evacuated tonight.

Fire crews are telling people on Quay Road in Lymington to evacuate their properties.

Sean O'Gorman, landlord of the Ship Inn, on Lymington's Town Quay, said he had had an automated warning call from the Environment Agency to tell him that the situation this evening could be potentially life threatening and to be prepared for the possibility of evacuation.

This is because the sea wall could be breached at high tide.

Local businesses have also had a ring round system warning of the serious situation and to be prepared.

The Environment Agency has stationed a large pump outside the Ship Inn in preparation for 11pm when the tide was expected to rise and the water to breach the sea wall.

Several residents have dropped into the pub looking to pick up sandbags and many businesses have sandbags ready outside the buildings along the quay.

Mr O'Gorman said the pub had suffered flooding twice since he took over the pub last March, but it had never reached more than a couple of inches, but he said he was concerned that the amount of warnings they had had meant it was going to be more serious.

He said he and his staff were preparing to work long into the night to keep the waters back and the pub may have to shut before closing time, normally midnight.

"I'm a little bit nervous,"he said.

"It's worrying because we're going to go into a weekend and Saturday is our biggest trade day so If I'm waterlogged tomorrow morning it's definitely going to affect me and the other businesses.

"I'm not leaving."