Essex: Rain And Wind Batters County

Rain continued to wreak havoc across the south east on Sunday, with Essex emergency crews dealing with scores of incidents.

Essex Police said a section of the A12 near Chelmsford was closed amid concerns that two crashes on Sunday morning were due to flooding.

Both happened on the southbound carriageway near Junction 16, the force said.

The first was just before 4am when a grey Honda CRV and a silver BMW were involved in a collision. Nobody was injured and the road was closed for several hours while the cars were recovered and barriers repairs.

Then just after 8am a grey Peugeot 307 went out of control and hit the central reservation.

A police spokesman said the southbound carriageway was fully closed while police and highways staff swept up gravel scattered over both lanes for about 100 metres.

He said officers noticed a lot of standing water on the carriageway and as a result of floodwater spilling onto the road from adjoining fields, the southbound carriageway was closed under the J16 bridge at about 9.30am, with traffic diverted off the A12 at the slip road to join at the on-slip.

The Highways Agency, which is in charge of the closure, reopened the road on Sunday afternoon.

Essex County Fire and Rescue were called to deal with over thirty calls to flooding and weather related incidents on Sunday, including the rescue of six people who were trapped in a car in Mountnessing Road in Ingatestone and power cables that had been brought down by the wind.

In Hockley, firefighters carried five adults and three children from four different cars to safety after they became trapped in flood water in Watery Lane on Sunday morning,. Four cars stuck in flood water

Twelve people were evacuated from their homes in Tilbury after after five houses in Quebec Road were flooded on Sunday afternoon. The twelve people lived in two of the affected homes.

The worst affected houses had around six inches of water in them.

Firefighters used a pump to remove water from the properties along with an aquavac and mops to clear up standing water.

The latest downpours come at the end of a particularly wet week for England and Wales, in which 42mm (1.7in) of rain fell in the South East and 55mm (2.2in) in the South West, which has now had 166% of the average rainfall for April.

Forecasters said that the heavy rain had cleared away from the South East with bad weather moving towards Wales and south-west England.

On Monday, Essex is expected to reach 18C, instead of the 12-14C experienced on Sunday.