Essex County Fire and Rescue Service

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Wet weather safety warning for motorists

Motorists have been urged to not to put themselves in danger by trying to drive through floodwater as the County experiences heavy downpours of rain.

Whenever there is heavy rain and flooding in Essex, the Service is called out to rescue mindless motorists who find themselves in difficulty after driving into flood water.

These drivers risk their own lives and those of their passengers, and also tie up fire crews and rescue teams who could be needed elsewhere.

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 enters the car and damages the mechanical and electric components.

When confronted with floodwater the best thing to do is to stop and find an alternative route.

As well as the risk posed by flooding, drivers need to take extra care on the County’s wet roads.

The fire service has issued the following safety advice:

  • When the road is wet it can take twice as long to stop, so slow down and maintain a safe distance from the vehicle in front.
  • Heavy rainfall and standing water can cause a vehicle to grip or aquaplane. If this happens, drivers should take their foot off the accelerator to slow down. Braking or steering suddenly will give you less control of the vehicle.
  • When faced with a flooded road, be extremely careful as you can’t always tell how deep the water is and just 30cm of flowing water can wash a car away.
  • Use a little common sense. Driving into floodwater and hoping for the best is not a sensible option and is highly risky; by the time you find out the water is too deep you are already trapped.
  • Prepare your journey before you leave. If a road is flooded, find an alternative route.

Please note, the fire service can only respond to flood related emergencies where there is life risk. 

Useful contacts

Essex County Council have information about how to report local flooding, if you're at risk and how to protect your property or community on their website here.

Traffic updates are available by following @Essex_travel on Twitter or view their traffic map here.

#DrivetoArrive #WeatherAware

 

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