Rural north Essex woke up to flooded roads, burst river banks and closed schools today

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In the picturesque village of Finchingfield, the duck pond had quadrupled in size, submerging the famous picnic green and expanding to within inches of the Fox pub.

“It was pretty scary, the water came right up to the door,” said landlord Keith Johnson.

“You always worry when there’s lots of rain - the pub did flood about ten years ago - but we are open for business and keeping our fingers crossed because they say there is more rain to come.”

The excess of water brought people out to view the spectacle.

Local man, Graham Millen, said the area floods “most years” but that it had been higher than usual.

“We normally stand outside the pub with a pint watching it,” he added

This year, the entertainment was provided by Bradley Dalziel, who took the opportunity to try some surfing with his boogie board.

“I said the next time it flooded I’d get my board out - its just a bit fun,” he said.

Driving around the country lanes was treacherous with patches of standing water causing cars to breakdown or turnaround. Two primary schools in the area - Wethersfield and Toppesfield - were forced to close because staff and pupils couldn’t get to them.

Essex Fire and Rescue Service reported that it had been called to around 130 incidents throughout the day - the vast majority in the west of the county. But crews were also sent to floods in Braintree and Wethersfield.

In Great Yeldham, police had closed off the flooded village crossroads, which was under water, because of fears that the waves caused by 4x4s moving through would exacerbate flooding in nearby cottages.

But despite the weather, village resident Cheri Tyler was looking on the bright side.

She said: “Incidents like this bring people together. Our road is flooded and everyone got together to help others. There’s people out here watching the floods and chatting, and there’s a sense of community.”

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