Motorist saved as flood engulfs car

RESCUERS told yesterday how they smashed a window to pull an elderly man from a car which became stuck in flood waters on a minor Suffolk road.

David Green

RESCUERS told yesterday how they smashed a window to pull an elderly man from a car which became stuck in flood waters on a minor Suffolk road.

Heavy rain throughout Saturday night and Sunday morning caused minor roads to flood all over Suffolk and north Essex.

But there was one particularly lucky escape for a motorist whose car was engulfed with water on the outskirts of Stowmarket, and had to be rescued by nearby residents.

Tommy Bird, 75, who lives near Wash Lane Corner at Finborough, near Stowmarket, told last night how he and his neighbour had pulled the man to safety.

Wash Lane, a narrow road often used by traffic wanting to avoid Stowmarket town centre - runs between the outskirts of Finborough and Combs Ford and includes a sharp dip.

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“The water was over his knees and he looked quite shaken. We smashed one of the rear seat windows and pulled him out. The doors were centrally locked and he would, in any case, have been unable to get them open because of the water pressure,” Mr Bird said.

An ambulance attended the scene but was not needed. Mr Bird said the danger was rapidly increasing and soon after the rescue the level of floodwater had risen.

There were a series of problems on the roads yesterday, and a Suffolk police spokesman said: “We have had a few road closures and there have been problems all over the county.”

The Environment Agency issued two flood warnings affecting rivers flowing through the villages of Boxford, Knodishall and Aldringham.

Floodwatch warnings about possible flooding of fields and minor roads were also issued for stretches of the rivers Rattlesden, Gipping, Stour, Brett, Deben, Lark, Minsmere, Yox, Colne and Chelmer.

Richard Woollard, Environment Agency spokesman, said: “The forecast for the next two days is for dry weather and we expect river levels to fall. We don't anticipate any further problems.”

A few homes at Needham, on the Suffolk-Norfolk border, near Harleston, were without electricity for several hours yesterday because of a problem with a generator temporarily installed following the power cuts which followed last week's gales.

THERE could be snow on the way to Suffolk and Essex by the end of this week, a weather expert has predicted.

A cold snap is expected to hit the region, bringing the possibility of snow over Easter, according to Suffolk forecaster Ken Blowers.

“Research shows there is more chance of snow at Easter than at Christmas, and there could be snow at the end of the week,” he said.

Mr Blowers added that a total of 1.10inches of rain fell on Saturday night and Sunday morning in Suffolk, which was the heaviest rainfall since October 9 last year, when 1.14inches fell.

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