Monday traffic and travel: Flooding concerns across the borough

Update: 1700 hrs

Very slow traffic on A13 eastbound in North Stifford between the A1012 junction and Orsett Cock, because of an accident earlier on.

Update: 0900 hrs

Essex Service has received a large number of calls to flooding incidents this morning. Crews have attended a dozen incidents and have pumped water out of properties in Letzden Road, Canvey; Christchurch, Tilbury and Merricks Lane, Basildon.

0700 hrs

THE heavy rain is having an impact across Thurrock

One resident has contacted Thurrock Council via social media to say they are: "Alarmed at the height of the river in Thurrock Park can someone come and check it out from Churchill Road."

YT has been informed that the Treacle Mine roundabout is once again flooded.

Advice from Essex Police

Drivers are urged to beware of flooding and surface water affecting many roads today, Monday October 13, following heavy rain across Essex.

Emergency services are dealing with a number of fallen trees and reports of localised flooding. Deep surface water is also affecting a number of major routes and local roads.

Drivers are advised to check travel websites and listen to local radio reports for the latest news of any travel disruption.

Take care and slow down when using any sections of road which may have been affected by the surface water and avoid driving through deep water.

Know the risks

Many cars will start to float in as little as 12 inches of water. This can be extremely dangerous; as the wheels lose grip, and you will lose control – with the obvious risks and consequences.

The engine air intake on many cars is low down at the front of the car; just an egg cupful of water ingested into the combustion chamber is sufficient to destroy an engine. Water does not compress, resulting in bent or broken con rods or split engine block. Driving too fast, even in relatively shallow water can cause water to be ingested.

Even appropriate fording can cause costly damage. The catalytic converter, (part of the exhaust system) which works at extremely high temperatures, can crack upon contact with cold water, requiring costly replacement.

Avoiding costly damage

Only drive through flood water if you know it’s not too deep. This will be no deeper than the lowest part of the vehicle’s bodywork, (usually the bottom of the spoiler (front panel) or sill panel, (below the doors).

Do not attempt to drive through fast-moving water, such as at a flooded bridge approach – your car could easily be swept away, even at modest depths.

With standing water, physically test the depth of the water with a pole (wade in, if necessary, but only where it is safe to do so), or observe the depth against other vehicles that cross successfully. (Just because they are successful does not mean it is appropriate to follow, see above). If in doubt….don’t!

If you have to drive through water, select a low gear so the engine revs are higher, slipping the clutch if necessary or, for automatic vehicle, select the lowest ratio and balance the throttle and brakes.

Before entering, consider other drivers – pass through flooded sections one car at a time, don’t drive through water against approaching fording vehicles.

Drive slowly and steadily to avoid creating a large bow wave.

Test your brakes as soon as you leave the water.

If you get stuck

If the worst happens and you break down: firstly, ensure the safety of all involved, including other road users. Do not repeatedly try to start the engine, (this may cause further damage). Call for recovery and wait in a safe place.

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