Thaxted flash flooding the 'worst in 30 years', says councillor

A montage. Left - something gushing out of the road which looks like a fountain. Right - flooding on the B184

A flash flood hit Thaxted on July 12 - Credit: Archant/April Denham/Supplied

Flash flooding in Thaxted could be made worse as new housing is built in the area, a councillor has warned.

Essex county councillor Martin Foley spoke out after the B184 Dunmow Road was blocked due to a flash flood on July 12, with residents taking photos and videos of cars stranded in the water.

Cllr Foley said the flooding was the worst he had seen in 30 years of living in the village.

He said concreting over fields could make flooding in the village worse if nothing is done to improve drainage in the Thaxted area.

Cllr Foley said: "We need to be careful with our new housing.

"All the water will flow down into the village, particularly if developers cover the landscape with concrete.

"We also saw that drainage is a problem and that the culverts under the roads cannot cope.

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"Water was literally bubbling like fountains in the road."

Cllr Foley added: "In 30-odd years of living in Thaxted, I have never seen anything like it!"

He said residents were out in Thaxted well into the evening to clear debris.

Cllr Foley helped clear a culvert which was filled with silt.

He said: "I filed a report with the county council overnight.

"I have asked for two things from the county council: to ensure the drains are clear of silt, and to provide a maintenance schedule.

"They gave me assurances that they will be able to help."

Thaxted resident Nikki said: "I have never seen it this bad."

She filmed a car stranded at the junction between Dunmow Road and Bardfield Road, with other cars trying to pass.

A spokesperson for Essex Highways said: “We had crews on standby for expected heavy rain on Monday into Tuesday.

"We placed flood warning boards on Mill Road, Thaxted after 9pm on Monday and joint work with Essex County Fire and Rescue Service to drain some of the worst flooding.

“We are checking drains in flooded areas for any silting resulting from mud and debris in floods.

"Regular and risk-based drain clearing is carried out area by area.”

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