Emergency services and bomb experts have been working throughout the night after an unexploded wartime bomb was found on a Peacehaven building site.
A 200m safety zone was set up, causing many to have to leave their homes and bringing major traffic disruption as the A259 South Coast Road has been closed between Roderick Avenue in the east and Malines Avenue in the west.
Also shut were Phyllis Avenue, Hoddern Avenue, Rowe Avenue, Sutton Avenue, Cavell Avenue and Roderick Avenue to its junction with Arundel Road – according to Sussex Police.
Police say temporary accommodation for those forced to evacuate has been provided by local authorities at centres elsewhere in the town.
Due to the traffic disruption Peacehaven Community School has announced it is closing until tomorrow morning.
In a statement on its website it said: “Due to the traffic disruption this morning the school will be closed today, until tomorrow morning. We will be contacting the parents of those children already in school.”
And Telscombe Cliffs school is also closed today. A statement on its website said: “School is closed today on the advice of the Police. We hope to re-open in the morning.”
Late on Wednesday night Chief Superintendent Nick May, of Sussex Police, said: “The various agencies involved are doing all they can to resolve the situation as swiftly and as safely as possible.
“We recognise that it has meant considerable upset for residents – including children and senior citizens – who have had to abandon their homes at short notice, and for motorists faced with delays and diversions to their journeys.
“We are grateful for people’s patience and understanding in exceedingly trying circumstances, and thank them for their forbearance.
“Our primary concern throughout has had to be their safety and well-being.”
Among those supporting the emergency services have been Explosive Ordnance Disposal experts, and officials from town, district and county councils.
Photos by Eddie Mitchell.