Page last updated at 17:19 GMT, Friday, 13 November 2009

Homes flood amid weather warning

Flood sign
Police urged drivers to slow down when driving through deep surface water

Firefighters in Kent and Sussex have been dealing with a series of floods amid severe weather warnings.

Kent Fire and Rescue Service said it had dealt with flooding in properties and gardens in the west of the county.

East and West Sussex firefighters also dealt with similar calls, including the evacuation of an industrial site in Haywards Heath after flash flooding.

The Met Office issued a warning of heavy rain on Friday and severe gales on Saturday in south-east England.

Along with the Environment Agency, it warned people living along the coast in West Sussex to be aware of a risk of sea flooding this weekend.

High tides, strong winds and significant wave heights from early on Saturday may result in flood watches and isolated flood warnings being issued by the Environment Agency.

It's very easy to get cocooned into the comfort of your car, but you must be ready for whatever nature throws at us
Supt Steve Barry

On Friday, in Kent, Bennett Memorial Diocesan School in Tunbridge Wells had to be closed because of flooding and sewage contamination.

Some cross-Channel sailings were also disrupted because of the rough seas and winds gusting up to force 10, the Port of Dover said.

And firefighters were called to help an elderly woman stuck in a car in Hunton after surface water rose to the vehicles' wheel arches.

Kent Police said the amount of water on the roads had led to heavy traffic and drivers were warned the severe weather could cause more problems during Friday and Saturday.

Slippery roads

Sussex Police said very heavy rain and gale-force winds could lead to floods and fallen trees on roads.

Supt Steve Barry said the stormy weather would add to the usual hazards of driving, such as slippery roads, mist, fog, and falling leaves.

He said gusts could rapidly move vehicles off their course and into the path of oncoming traffic.

"It's very easy to get cocooned into the comfort of your car, but you must be ready for whatever nature throws at us," he said.

Horsham District Council said it had cancelled Carfax, Bishopric and Piries Place markets on Saturday because of the forecast of gusts up to 70mph.

"This decision has been taken to protect the safety of the public and traders," said a spokesman.

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