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Monday, 22 October, 2001, 20:48 GMT 21:48 UK
More torrential downpours predicted
A young boy walks in the flood water in the village of Bocking near Braintree, Essex
More rain is forecast in central and eastern England
Towns and villages in Cambridgeshire and Essex remain on flood alert on Monday evening, with forecasters warning of more heavy rain.

Storms are predicted to hit the region from about 2000BST and carry on into to the early hours of Tuesday.

Torrential downpours on Sunday led to hundreds of thousands of pounds' worth of damage to properties near rivers in East Anglia.

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The worst hit areas were Braintree in Essex, and villages bordering the River Cam in Cambridgeshire.

The Environment Agency has issued flood warnings on the rivers Cam, Chelmer, Colne and Roman, Pant, Blackwater and Brain, Tendring and Dengie peninsulas, Stour Brook, and the Stour.

Police said flooding in Cambridge was the worst for 20 years and some villages to the south were cut off by rising water.

Some parts of the region were said to have been hit by a month's worth of rain in one day - nearly 70mm fell in Braintree in six hours.

An agency spokesman said it would take some time for water in East Anglia to clear.

Extra care

He said: "It's moving down reasonably well, but as so much of it is due to a great deal of surface water running off, our main rivers are running fairly full, some extremely full.

"We are hoping that things will become better, but it all depends."

Environment Agency regional flood watch manager Jonathan Wortley said: "The biggest problems for us are in the Braintree area, where we had 60-70mm of rain.

"Now it is getting into the tributaries and we are getting people flooded as a result of upper areas of rivers flooding."

Hundreds of roads in Essex are affected by flooding and police are advising drivers to take extra care on stretches with surface water.

Flood warnings
3 severe flood warnings - 2 in Essex, 1 in Cambridgeshire
21 flood warnings - 8 in East Anglia, 4 in Midlands, 9 in Thames region
An Essex Police spokesman said: "The emergency services have been busy through the night and remain busy today.

"We were notified of around 200 roads that were affected by flooding and we are urging drivers to take care."

A number of roads were closed on Sunday in Essex and Cambridgeshire.

There were hundreds of calls to rescue services in several counties, and some residents were issued with sandbags.

Traffic for Stansted Airport had to queue on the M11 motorway on Sunday as minor roads and the airport approach road were flooded.

The BBC's Robert Nisbett in Cambridge
"Rescue workers used boats to assist some of the stranded"
See also:

22 Oct 01 | England
England on flood alert
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