In pictures: Heavy rain leads to a day of flooding in Suffolk and Essex
PUBLISHED: 21:30 20 December 2019
Parts of Suffolk and Essex were left submerged on Friday as severe flooding caused disruption and travel chaos - with multiple cars stranded in water having to be rescued.
Fire crews were called to a catalogue of incidents throughout the day as motorists became stuck in deep water following persistent rain.
The Met Office released a yellow weather warning for Suffolk and north Essex early on Friday morning, predicting the rain and potential for flooding - and that proved to be accurate.
A spokesman for Suffolk Highways said yesterday: "It has been a very wet winter so far, the ground is saturated which is making it difficult for water to soak away as well as it should."
Throughout the day, police and fire crews were called to a catalogue of problems, including multiple cases of motorists getting stuck in floodwater.
These included incidents in Low Road, Debenham, Little Blakenham, Foxearth, Hawkedon and Stradbroke.
The A1124 near Halstead was also flooded, with reports of a vehicle stuck in the water.
Suffolk police also reported flooding across numerous other roads including; the A14 at Sproughton, the A1071 by Boxford, the A143 between Haverhill and Bury St Edmunds, Church Road in Stowupland, Ipswich Road in Grundisburgh, Playford Road and Straight Road in Ipswich as well as the road between Ashfield and Kenton.
There was some particularly deep water in Coddenham, and resident Matt Hurst said it was the worst he had seen for years.
He said: "This is the third time the road has flooded in recent months but it hasn't been this bad.
"My neighbours who have lived here longer say it's the worst it's been in years and years.
"We can still get in and out of the house but there have been cars and lorries going in and, whilst some have made it through, others have had to turn back.
"It's bad because it erodes the bank beside the road and as the fields nearby are already soaked, the water can't drain off into the flood plains."
Suffolk Magistrates' Court in Ipswich also flooded, forcing most cases to be heard at Ipswich Crown Court.
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Drivers were advised not to drive through flood water while the roads were cleared.
Suffolk Highways tweeted: "We are receiving a high number of reports regarding flooding on the network across the county, we are prioritising our response to these. Please do not drive through flood water and use an alternative route."
Flood warnings were also issued in Suffolk and north Essex. When flood warnings are active, homeowners are advised to turn off electricity, move family and pets to safety and park vehicles on higher ground.
Last night, there were flood warnings still in place for:
- The Chediston watercourse at Halesworth
- The Rattlesden River from Rattlesden to Combs Ford in Stowmarket
- The River Brett from Lavenham to Higham
- The Stour Brook from Haverhill to Sturmer
- The Bumpstead Brook through Steeple Bumpstead to New England
Flood alerts have also been issued in many other locations across Suffolk and Essex.
Fred Best, meteorologist at Weatherquest, said: "Throughout Friday there has been persistent rain - it's been quite heavy at times.
"Since midnight on Thursday night, most stations have seen more than 20mm of rain.
"If the ground is already wet, it struggles to absorb any more water."
Suffolk Highways said: "For small-scale flooding, or standing water on the highway, please allow up to 48 hours for the water to disperse before reporting it to us.
"We encourage all to take extra care when travelling."