Essex: Five people rescued after car is driven through flood water

MOTORISTS have urged not to attempt to drive through flood water that is “deeper than the centre of their wheels” after an incident in which five people had to be rescued.

One adult and four children were rescued from their car after driving into around three feet of flood water in Buttsbury Wash, Ingatestone, on Friday.

Fire crews had all five people back on dry land by 5.15pm but Essex County Fire and Rescue Service has said that incidents like this illustrate the danger of driving into flood water.

“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,” said a service spokesman.

“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.

“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.”

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There are some 250 flood warnings and 300 flood alerts in England and Wales, and two flood alerts in Scotland.

The Met Office has not issued a weather warning for the East of England today and Uttlesford has so far escaped any serious incident of flooding, although there have been reports of rising water levels in parts of the district.

Gordon Ridgewell took this photograph outside Saffron Walden’s Tesco store yesterday morning (Sunday).

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