Essex County Fire and Rescue Service

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Don't drive into flood water

Essex County Fire and Rescue Service is warning motorists to take extra care on the roads and make sure they don’t risk their lives by driving into flood water.

Every year the Service rescues dozens of motorists who find themselves trapped after driving into flood water on the roads. These drivers not only risk the lives of themselves and their passengers they also tie up fire crews and rescue teams who could be needed elsewhere.

Divisional Officer Greg Keys said: "It is vital that motorists exercise a little common sense. 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.

"Just a foot or two 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.

"When confronted with flood water the best thing to do is to find an alternative route. If there is no way round they should park safely and allow the water level to drop until it is safe to drive.

“Driving onto flood water and hoping for the best is not an option. Taking that kind of risk can be both dangerous and costly. You and your passengers could easily be swept away in water and once you are rescued the car will have suffered extensive damage which will be complex and costly to repair.”

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