Page last updated at 10:35 GMT, Tuesday, 10 February 2009

Homes evacuated due to flood risk

Flooding in Blackmore village
Some roads in Essex have deep, standing water

Heavy rain has brought flooding to parts of Essex with houses being evacuated and major roads closed.

In Steeple Bumpstead, 12 people had to leave their homes overnight because of the threat of flooding.

Twelve bungalows in Gorse Lane, Clacton, were affected, with residents from five properties evacuated to a rest centre at the town hall.

The occupants of the remaining bungalows either opted to stay or to take refuge with relatives.

Police are also advising motorists to take extra care.

The A12 has reopened southbound between junctions 12 and 14, and the northbound carriageway will also reopen shortly. But the road remains closed at Ingatestone because of deep water and dangerous conditions.

The A127 was closed but has since re-opened, while localised flooding has closed many minor roads.

Flood warnings

There is a severe flood warning in force for the Chelmsford area around the rivers Chelmer and Can.

There are also seven flood warnings in force around the county and a number of flood watches.

The Essex Fire and Rescue Service has received more than 270 flood-related calls, with people reporting flooding of homes or being stranded in cars.

A spokesman said: "People continue to put themselves at risk by driving through flood water and getting stranded.

"Our advice is to use common sense."

Assistant Chief Constable Sue Harrison said: "There will be significant disruption to the rush hour traffic this morning.

"Police officers are out around the county and will close roads for the public's safety."



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