Homes evacuated after flooding threatens to reach electrical substation in Colchester

Floodwater in Haven Road, Colchester. Picture: LAUREN HOCKNEY

Floodwater in Haven Road, Colchester. Picture: LAUREN HOCKNEY - Credit: Archant

A block of flats was evacuated in Essex after heavy rainfall saw a lake burst its banks with water reaching an electrical substation.

Flooding in Haven Road, Colchester, on August 9, 2017. Picture: SEANA HUGHES

Flooding in Haven Road, Colchester, on August 9, 2017. Picture: SEANA HUGHES

Firefighters were called to reports that nine houses in Distillery Lane, Colchester, had been flooded last night.

They arrived to find the level of the lake was continuing to rise and pumped the water to a nearby quay while using ”aqua vacs” to clear the flooded homes.

Water had reached an electrical substation by 10.30pm, requiring a nearby block of flats to be evacuated. Crews worked through the night to reduce the water level, liaising with highways and UK Power Network to ensure the scene was safe and assisting with the resident evacuation.

The floods were still causing problems this morning when firefighters had to rescue a motorists from their vehicle after they tried to drive through standing water.

Essex County Fire and Rescue Service said its crews continued to tackle the flooding by draining the nearby pond.

Businesses in Haven Road, which adjoins Distillery Lane and was closed to traffic, also reported problems with flooding.

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The road is said to suffer frequent flooding problems, with water coming over from the River Colne at high tide.

However businesses said the latest problems were far worse than usual.

“We do have some minimal flooding when high tide comes - but today’s in a different league,” said John Mcloone, branch manager at Ernest Doe.

“One of our gates is totally blocked because of flooding and the whole road is closed to traffic.

“They had to tow a couple of vehicles that had become stuck.”

Mr Mcloone said the problem had arisen through a combination of heavy rain, high tides and the ponds bursting their banks.

“The fire brigade are here but they don’t really know how long it’s going to take,” he said yesterday morning.

The road closure affected trade, businesses said.

Anytime Fitness in Haven Road, said it was “completely empty” this morning.

The flooding followed two days of heavy rain amid yellow warnings from the Met Office.

Forecasters claim, however, that better weather is expected for the coming days.

Dan Holley, from Weatherquest, said the weekend would bring warmer temperatures and clearer skies.