Contractors were sent out to check the culverts in Saffron Walden following the severe flooding on Friday morning (February 7), Uttlesford District Council has confirmed.

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Several areas of the town were affected by heavy overnight rainfall, particularly in Elizabeth Way and The Spike, Radwinter Road. Ten people and two dogs had to be rescued by the fire service boat at The Spike after water had flooded their homes.

The Reporter received numerous concerns from residents who had questioned whether the culverts at Elizabeth Way/St James Court had been cleared.

The district council – which is council is responsible for the culvert – this week said that diggers were used during the day and into the evening to make sure that any debris in the fast flowing deluge of water was removed. At no time was the culvert blocked, the authority claimed.

The council’s staff and contractors have been monitoring the culverts over the weekend and into this week, especially those in Elizabeth Way/St James Court to ensure any build-up of debris caused by the deluge of water is continually removed.

On Friday and over the weekend the council also ran a street sweeping operation to clear roads and highways of any debris caused by the flooding.

A 24-hour emergency response team made up of council officers and the police were on call all Friday and over the weekend ready to respond to any additional problems. Members of that team were out in the district checking the flooding levels and engaging with residents all day Friday and Saturday.

Cllr Jim Ketteridge, leader of the district council, said: “We want to reassure residents that our contractors are working hard to ensure that the culverts remain open, especially with the continual bad weather we are experiencing.

“Anyone concerned about potential flooding is advised to check the Environment Agency website that provides the latest information on flood warnings and alerts.

“For all other flooding enquiries, please contact Essex County Council, Flood Prevention on 08457 430 430.”

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