Essex County Fire and Rescue Service

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Storm Aurore causes chaos in South Essex

Following a Met Office amber weather warning, teams at Essex County Fire and Rescue Service (ECFRS) dealt with over 100 weather-related incidents last night and into the early hours of this morning.

Essex was hit by flooding overnight as heavy rain and strong winds battered the south of the county. Between the hours of 10pm and 5am, the Control Team at ECFRS received over 160 calls relating to incidents as a result of adverse weather conditions.  Control Officers sent crews out to a number of incidents, and worked hard to provide advice to many members of the public who called to report flooding outside of their homes.

Many drivers found themselves stranded in deep water in parts of Essex last night, requiring assistance from firefighters to be led to safety. Essex Fire also provided a pumping service at a number of properties in South Essex where floodwater was invading peoples’ homes.

At 12:07am, Crews from Canvey Island and Southend spent three and a half hours working with the Environment Agency, using pumps to divert floodwater in Sommes Avenue.

Fire crews across Essex continued to work throughout the night, in partnership with Essex Police, UK Power Network, Highways Agency, Anglian Water, local authorities and the Environment Agency.

ECFRS's Service Delivery Command Manager, James Taylor, said: “Our control team were inundated with calls from around 10:30pm, and have worked tirelessly through the night to offer advice to the local community. Crews have been deployed to numerous incidents and have worked hard under challenging circumstances – not only the nature of the incidents they’ve attended, but just getting to the scenes in adverse weather conditions has been a challenge.

“Canvey Island saw a large amount of flooding, but thanks to our detailed risk information plan, we were able to work quickly and efficiently with our partners to ease flooding.

“A huge ‘well done’ to our control team and our crews, particularly those in the south of Essex where we saw high volumes of incidents!”

With winter approaching, the Essex Fire and Rescue Service is urging people to follow the following safety advice when flooding occurs:

• Please do not risk driving through floodwater

• If your road is flooded, turn around and find an alternative route

If floodwater is entering your home and it is safe to do so:

• Ensure your external drains are clear of debris

• Take everything upstairs or off the ground to prevent damage

• Turn electrics off if possible

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