Record flooding traps drivers

Chelmsford Weekly News: Students from Writtle College try to recover a car caught in the floods Students from Writtle College try to recover a car caught in the floods

RECORD-breaking rainfall saw parts of Chelmsford experience severe flooding on Tuesday.

Many areas in the borough saw up to 2ins of rainfall in a six-hour period overnight, causing rivers to burst their banks and causing havoc to traffic.

Major delays crippled the Southend-bound A130 during the morning rushhour as flood water affected traffic heading into South Woodham Ferrers and on to the A127, as the Fairglen Interchange was closed.

Roads in Danbury, Writtle, Sandon and Little Baddow were also blocked by water.

Meteorologist Tom Defty, from Chelmsford-based Essex Weather Centre, said the recent rain had broken many records around the area.

Mr Defty said: “Rivers were already at full capacity on Monday, so this extra heavy rainfall has led to the flooding.

“Our river monitoring site, at Sandon, by the brook, recorded its highest ever reading last night of 1.5m, beating the record set back in 1979 by 10cm.

“Our station in Little Baddow also broke a record with 37mm of rain falling over a six-hour period during the night.

“We have already had a metre of rain in Chelmsford this year, a record in itself, but hopefully it should get a bit drier over the next few days.”

Firefighters were called to a number of incidents around Chelmsford throughout the day.

These included rescuing a man from the roof of his car which had got stuck in 4ft of flood water, in May Lane, Sandon, at 9am.

Another incident saw an HGV driver trapped in flood water by Paper Mill Lock, in North Hill, Little Baddow at about 10.25am.

Officials from Essex Fire and Rescue warned motorists about the dangers of driving through flooded roads.

Assistant Divisional Officer Simon Dedman said: “Every time there is flooding the service has to rescue people who have driven their cars into flood water.

“When faced with water, drivers should exercise a little common sense. “If they can, they should find an alternative route.

“If there is no way round they should park safely and get out to check the depth of the water before they drive into it.”

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