Suffolk and Essex on course for double the expected rainfall in December

Bill Hiskett has captured the extent of the flooding at Sudbury water meadows using his drone Pictur

Bill Hiskett has captured the extent of the flooding at Sudbury water meadows using his drone Picture: BILL HISKETT

Flood alerts remained in place across Suffolk and Essex, after days of heavy rain continued to take their toll.

The car was still stuck as of December 22, more than 24 hours after the car became stuck in Rectory

The car was still stuck as of December 22, more than 24 hours after the car became stuck in Rectory Lane, Semer Picture: JAMES METCALFE - Credit: JAMES METCALFE

Many low-lying areas remained submerged throughout the weekend, particularly in the Hadleigh, Sudbury and Halesworth areas.

Dramatic images showed one car almost entirely under water in Rectory Lane, Whatfield - with only a small part of the roof visible.

James Metcalfe, an amateur photographer from Hadleigh, went out on Saturday in search of striking shots of high water and saw the vehicle, believed to be a Jaguar 4x4, just below the 6ft measure where the ford crosses the road.

Mr Metcalfe, a council auditor, said: "I went down both ends of the road to try and see it. I have lived here two-and-a-half years, but it's definitely worse than anything I have ever seen."

Duncan Brodie captured these fantastic photos between Layham and Hadleigh, even spottign two swans o

Duncan Brodie captured these fantastic photos between Layham and Hadleigh, even spottign two swans on the flood water that gathered close to the road Picture: DUNCAN BRODIE - Credit: DUNCAN BRODIE


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A VW van was also stranded nearby in Overgang Road. It is understood somebody was rescued from that vehicle by firefighters at about 10pm on Friday.

Bill Hiskett, from Sudbury, captured stunning drone pictures of the Sudbury water meadows.

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The ancient water meadows, home to grazing cattle in the summer months, are said to be the "jewel" in the town's crown, immortalised by the works of famous artists Thomas Gainsborough and John Constable.

This land by its very nature does get waterlogged, but Mr Hiskett, from Sudbury, said he hadn't seen this level of flooding for a couple of years.

The car is barely visible above the water level Picture: JAKE FOXFORD

The car is barely visible above the water level Picture: JAKE FOXFORD - Credit: JAKE FOXFORD

He said: "The meadows are designed to work as a flood plain. They are doing their job at the moment.

"The only impact is lots of dog walkers use it and they are not able to go over it at the moment.

"There is still a lot of green showing through the water so it's not that deep. It's quite a sight."

Suffolk Fire and Rescue Service had a busy Friday and weekend, taking numerous calls to help people stranded in vehicles.

The road is closed at Rectory Lane, Whatfield, near Hadleigh, due to flooding Picture: JAKE FOXFORD

The road is closed at Rectory Lane, Whatfield, near Hadleigh, due to flooding Picture: JAKE FOXFORD - Credit: JAKE FOXFORD

In Needham Market, a crew attended four properties in Coddenham Road - a house and three flats - and advised a household deemed at risk to evacuate, but they declined.

Ian Mallet, group commander for Suffolk Fire and Rescue Service, advised members of the public: "Either don't take the journey or choose not to drive through flood water."

Last night, all flood warnings in Suffolk had been downgraded to flood alerts.

These covered most of the county.

A number of flood alerts remain in place across Suffolk Picture: SARAH LUCY BROWN

A number of flood alerts remain in place across Suffolk Picture: SARAH LUCY BROWN - Credit: Archant

In Essex, there was still a more serious flood warning in place for the River Wid from Ingatestone to, and including, Writtle. There were also flood alerts across much of the county.

Weatherquest forecaster Phil Garner said: "In the last three days we've seen between 25mm and 30mm of rainfall across Suffolk. Wattisham has recorded 25mm, Brooms Barn recorded 26mm.

"Usually in December we would expect to see anywhere between 45mm and 50mm falling in total, so we could be on course for double the expected rainfall in December.

"Wattisham has already had 77mm of rain this month.

"Over the border into Essex, Chelmsford has had 85mm - the further south you go the wetter it has already been.

"Going into the next three days we expect to have a drier day tomorrow, but there will be some rain on Christmas Eve.

"It is currently expected to be between 3mm and 5mm, so not a major rainfall event, and Christmas Day should be a return to drier weather."

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