Motorists are being urged not to travel unless absolutely necessary, after heavy rain caused a number of roads to be flooded.
A large number of calls have been received to flooding incidents caused by today’s rain. The incidents have largely centred around Canvey Island, Benfleet, Basildon and Billericay. Over the course of today, dozens of calls have been received with calls continuing to flood in.
Road closures are in place, particularly at Rayleigh Weir, on the carriageway of the A127 at the Fortunes of War, and there of number of other points where there are floods.
Drivers are being warned to take care and not get themselves and their families trapped by driving into flood water.
Just two feet of water is enough to float a car, and six inches of water will reach the bottom of most passenger cars; this depth can cause loss of control or possible stalling, as water is sucked into the exhaust or washes into the air intake.
Some motorists driving through flood water on Canvey Island, have caused water to be swept up towards homes and businesses.
Drivers should never attempt to travel through water deeper than the centre of their wheels, as doing so could cause homes to be flooded. If water gets into the car’s air intake or into the electrics, the car will stop, leaving the driver and passengers trapped.
The water could also be hiding damaged road or missing manhole covers.
Motorists should take particular care when crossing fords, these often become flooded and extremely dangerous with fast flowing water.
A spokesman for ECFRS said: “It is important that when faced with water drivers exercise a little common sense. If they can they should find an alternative route. If there is no way round they should park safely and get out to check the depth of the water before they drive into it.
“Just driving into water and hoping for the best is not an option, by the time you find out the water is too deep you are already trapped.”
Superintendent Darrin Tomkins also urged people to check on elderly and vulnerable neighbours.
He said: “Please check on those who may live alone and may be more vulnerable in this kind of weather.
“Do not travel through standing water as you may not be able to tell how deep it is. That goes for motorists as well as those on foot as there could be disturbed manhole covers underneath the water which may prove hazardous.”