Drive safe warning as Essex to be hit by storms and rain

Fire engine driving along road in rain

Fire engine driving along road in rain - Credit: Cambs Fire & Rescue Service

Motorists are being warned to take extra care as storms and heavy rain are set for Essex tonight.

The Met Office predicts the worst of the weather will hit the county between late evening and early morning, with 30mm to 40mm of rain due.

Superintendent Adrian Coombs of Essex Police, said: “With such heavy rain falling within a short period of time there is the potential for isolated flooding, including flooded roads and travel disruption.

“We would advise people not to travel unless absolutely necessary if there is heavy rain and flooding.”

Supt Coombs added that drivers should also take care if using any Essex roads that might be affected by flooding or blocked by debris.

They should drive appropriately to the conditions, and take especial care on tree-lined roads with blind bends.

If motorists come across flooding on the roads they should consider the following:

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If you come across a flooded road, you should only attempt to drive through if you are certain that it is not too deep

Many cars will start to float in as little as 12 inches of water. This can be extremely dangerous; as the wheels lose grip, and you will lose control - with the obvious risks and consequences.

The engine air intake on many cars is low down at the front of the car and just a small amount of water ingested into the combustion chamber is sufficient to destroy an engine.

Only drive through flood water if you know it’s not too deep. This will be no deeper than the lowest part of the vehicle’s bodywork.

If in doubt....don’t!

If you have to drive through water, select a low gear so the engine revs are higher, slipping the clutch if necessary or, for an automatic vehicle, select the lowest ratio and balance the throttle and brakes.

Before entering, consider other drivers - pass through flooded sections one car at a time, don’t drive through water against approaching fording vehicles.

Drive slowly and steadily to avoid creating a large bow wave.

Test your brakes as soon as you leave the water.

If you get stuck, firstly, ensure the safety of all involved, including other road users. Do not repeatedly try to start the engine, (this may cause further damage). Call for recovery and wait in a safe place.

Information on highways in Essex is available at on Twitter at @Essex_Travel.