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Suffolk/Essex: Rain prompts safety alert for motorists

06:00 22 December 2012

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DRIVERS are being warned to plan ahead as they prepare to take on the Christmas rush to see family and friends this weekend.

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North Essex and Suffolk were hit by flooding after heavy rainfall hit the region this week.

The water was so high in Marlesford, near Framlingham, yesterday that a 4x4 vehicle had to be abandoned.

Suffolk police have warned drivers to add extra time to their journeys.

Lisa Miller, a spokeswoman for the constabulary, said: “As there will be more vehicles on the roads around the county our message to people would be to allow extra time for journeys, don’t drink and drive, and drive to the weather conditions.”

Forecasters are expecting mild temperatures but more heavy rain to fall on the lead-up to Christmas.

Steve Western, from Weatherquest, said: “Saturday will be rather breezy with a band of rain turning to showers in the afternoon.

“There will be further flooding in the South West, Yorkshire and the Midlands and there’s going to be surface water on the roads.”

Last night ambulance bosses were expecting a surge in the number of calls they receive on what they call ‘Black Friday’.

The East of England Ambulance Service is advising callers to ring 999 only when immediate medical help is needed.

The AA is advising motorists to avoid driving on flooded roads.

AA spokesman Andy Smith said: “The outlook is for the weather to become more unsettled with the risk of wet and windy weather and possible flooding which could affect travel over Christmas and New Year.

“It’s better to go the long way around and arrive safe and dry rather than risk driving through flood water, and yet we still see some drivers deliberately ignoring the advice of the emergency services and proceed down flooded roads.

“Not only do they put themselves and their families at unnecessary risk but it’s likely their insurer would take a dim view of this idiotic behaviour and reject any resulting claim.”

The national travel picture, see Page 6

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