*New photos added* - Gallery: Homes evacuated in floods chaos
SERIOUS flooding has hit parts of Saffron Walden overnight with roads blocked and residents evacuated from their homes. Much of the county was affected after a month’s worth of rainfall fell in just 10 hours, making it difficult for rivers and drains to cope.
SERIOUS flooding has hit parts of Saffron Walden overnight with roads blocked and residents evacuated from their homes.
Much of the county was affected after a month’s worth of rainfall fell in just 10 hours, making it difficult for rivers and drains to cope.
Essex firefighters reported some 275 calls about flooding from 6pm last night. The worst affected area was around Chelmsford and most of the work has involved routine and lengthy pumping out.
Locally, at Audley End House, the River Cam had burst its banks leaving a lake on the grounds.
Essex Fire and Rescue confirmed that 12 people were forced out of their homes in Steeple Bumpstead overnight due to the risk of water entering their property, while Great Sampford Primary School closed for the day.
Local flooding has also caused disruption on many local roads:
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- The B184 between Thaxted and Dunmow is impassable due to flooding at the new roundabout at Little Easton. Between Thaxted and Saffron Walden was clear at around 9am
- North Hall Road has been hit by numerous floods
- Radwinter Road (from Saffron Walden to Steeple Bumpsted) was closed this morning
- The river at Little Chesterford has burst its bank and the road into the village is badly flooded
- The minor road between Felsted and Stebbing Green is flooded
- The road between Finchingfield and Great Sampford is closed and there is a diversion via Great Bardfield and Thaxted
- Wicken Road at Clavering was covered by almost 20ins of water
Essex Police have set up a strategic group to co-ordinate the emergency response. The group includes Essex County Fire and Rescue Service, the Ambulance Service, Essex County Council, local authorities and the Highways Agency.
Assistant Chief Constable Sue Harrison said: “There will be significant disruption to the rush hour traffic this morning, police officers are out across the county and will close roads for the public’s safety.
“I would ask motorists to co-operate with police, be patient and listen to the radio for details of road closures in their area.”
Fire crews have set up a critical incident team and are asking people to use common sense.
Senior Divisional Officer, Paul Bowers, said: “At the moment we continue to prioritise calls based on those at greatest risk.”
For information and advice on flooding contact the Environment Agency Floodline on 0845 988 1188.
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