Essex Flooding

Fire Officers work through the night on Canvey Island to help residents affected by flooding.

Fire crews have been working through the night in Canvey, after around 40 homes there were flooded, following heavy rainfall yesterday.

Firefighers and Control Operators dealt with some 500 flood and weather related incidents and calls from 15:04 hrs yesterday.

Of these more than 400 were from Canvey Island - the worst hit area in the County. At the height of activity on the Island, ECFRS had seven pumping appliances focussed on the south east corner of the Island where the flooding was most severe, along with six duty officers, its Urban Search and Rescue team, water rescue specialists and a high volume pump.

"The first calls came in at around 3pm yesterday afternoon and it wasn't until 03:30 hrs this morning that we were able to scale back to normal service on Canvey," said Assistant Chief Fire Officer Paul Hill.

"During that time we dealt with floods, structures struck by lightning and a couple of structure collapses. Our approach to get through such an unprecedented level of calls was to deal with all life risk as priority and then we sent officers and appliances with lists of addresses to make sure there was no life risk at those calls where none had been reported just to make sure that residents were safe.

"There was some frustration that with such widespread flooding, our crews were unable to pump out properties because there was just nowhere to pump the water away but we are comfortable that we did everything we could to make sure people were and remained safe.

"This morning, it appears the flood water has receeded quite a lot and there has been no more rainfall. We do anticipate with the daylight hours another raft of calls but if that happens we are ready to send resources back onto the Island to deal with them."

Other areas hit by floods included Wickford, Waltham Abbey and Rayleigh, though flood related incidents came in from right across the County.

The A&E department at Southend hospital was also closed for a while yesterday, because of flooding, but has since reopened.

A helpline has been set up for Canvey residents affected by flooding and in need of emergency assistance. You can contact 01268 758357.