Essex: Flooding Chaos In The County

Essex Fire and Rescue Service have been called out to more than 100 flood related problems across the county since yesterday.

Most of the calls came from people in flooded homes or motorists who had driven into flood water.

This morning crews helped to rescue a 22 year old woman after she drove her car into flood water on Halls Ford Bridge in Ongar, they have also come to the aid of a man trapped on the roof of his car in flood water in Sandon, two men trapped in a van in Ingatestone andlast night they had to use a dinghy to rescue two men who had driven a Range Rover into flood water three feet deep in Sporehams Lane in Danbury.

An elderly couple were also rescued from the first florr of a water-logged home in Fennfields Road in South Woodham Ferrers in the early hours of this morning.

The two flood warnings are in place for riverside properties in Chelmsford and for the River Wid from Ingatestone to Writtle.

The fires ervice are now reminding motorists to take care and avoid driving into floodwater.

Just two feet of water is enough to float a car and six inches of water will reach the bottom of most passenger cars; this depth can cause loss of control or possible stalling as water is sucked into the exhaust or washes into the air intake.

Motorists should never attempt to drive through water deeper than the centre of their wheels.

If water gets into the car’s air intake or into the electrics the car will stop leaving driver and passengers trapped.

The water could also be hiding damaged road or missing manhole covers.

Motorists should take particular care when crossing fords, these often become flooded and extremely dangerous with fast flowing water.

DO Neil Fenwick said: 'Every time there is flooding the Service has to rescue people who have driven their cars into flood water.

'When faced with water drivers should exercise a little common sense. If they can they should find an alternative route.

' If there is no way round they should park safely and get out to check the depth of the water before they drive into it.

'Just driving into water and hoping for the best is not an option, by the time you find out the water is too deep you are already trapped.'