Suffolk/Essex: Severe flooding across region causes schools to close and roads to become impassable
Flood-hit communities are today dealing with the aftermath of widespread disruption caused by torrential rain which brought large parts of Suffolk and Essex to a standstill.
Schools closed, roads became impassable and homes were pumped free of water yesterday as the emergency services dealt with hundreds of calls.
Heavy rain swept across the region over Thursday night and into Friday morning leaving severe flooding in many parts. But last night forecasters warned that more heavy rain is still to come this weekend.
Firefighters rescued many motorists stranded in high waters as the weather caught several drivers out.
West Suffolk was hit worst with roads between Haverhill and Bury St Edmunds particularly treacherous. In the morning rush-hour seven people including a 10-year-old child were rescued from cars stuck in flood waters between the towns.
Firefighters pumped water away from the burst banks of a river in Bury to prevent homes from flooding.
Major damage to the homes was prevented but garages and gardens were left underwater. Sandbags were erected, with one resident saying it was the worst flooding in more than 30 years.
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Headteachers took the decision to close primary schools in Haverhill, Hundon, Clare and Rattlesden.
Passing soldiers rescued drivers trapped in flood water on the A1088 in the Tostock area, near Thurston.
Fire and police chiefs warned drivers to avoid flooded roads as the high number of calls caused crews to prioritise the worst incidents.
Essex County Fire and Rescue Service received more than 200 calls by 4pm, with roads in the Finchingfield and Steeple Bumpstead areas particularly affected.
Crews from Suffolk rescued several people stuck in cars in Lavenham at about 10.30am with the Environment Agency releasing further flood warnings during the day.
Bosses from the AA said some drivers were going too fast and were being “complacent” in the difficult conditions. They said it was likely to be their “most intense” burst of flood call-outs in the region, fielding more than 200 calls by 11am.
A woman and a dog escaped from a Ford Ka that was filling with water in a ditch after coming off the A14 at Risby. The water was getting up to the steering wheel, some four-feet deep.
A car ended up on its roof in a ditch off the A1071, near Corham Steet, Hadleigh. The male driver was pulled from the car, suffering minor injuries.
More wet weather coupled with high winds could cause more problems on roads and land already flooded over the next week.