ESSEX County Fire and Rescue Service crews have attended more than 200 flood-related incidents across the county today (Friday, February 7).
At least 70 of the calls received since 5am have involved flood waters in Saffron Walden.
There was severe flooding on Elizabeth Way – where a car was almost completely underwater – Thaxted Road, Radwinter Road and Victoria Avenue.
At 5am, crews from Saffron Walden, Harlow and Waltham Abbey were called to 20 flats in Radwinter Road in Walden which had been affected by flood waters.
Firefighters rescued eight adults, including two disabled people, from a ground-floor flat, two children and two dogs.
Crews used the rescue boat to assist the residents to safety by 8am.
Just before noon, an 84-year-old disabled man had to be rescued from his car which got stuck in 12 inches of flood water on Ashdon Road.
Fire crews have also been pumping water from flooded homes and rescuing motorists trapped in flood water in Newport, Wendens Ambo, Debden, Stansted, Arkesden, Ashdon, Quendon and Henham.
Parts of the Audley End Miniature Railway are under water and ducks are swimming on the fairy walk in the woods.
In Newport, roads have been closed due to severe flooding and a vehicle was trapped in flood water under a railway bridge.
Severe flooding has affected the M11 around Stansted after the motorway was closed northbound following two accidents.
Flooding has also resulted in Elsenham being cut off and shops in Lower Street, Stansted, being flooded.
The fire service has urged motorists to exercise common sense and consideration when they see water in the road after motorists were seen driving through road closures.
Assistant Divisional Officer Dave Moore, who is on scene at flooding incidents, said: “It beggars belief. We have signs telling motorists the roads are closed and, instead of stopping and finding another way around, they are accelerating into the water.
“This creates a wave which pushes water from the road into people’s homes. It is both inconsiderate and stupid. There are fire crews, signs saying the road is closed and deep water in the road and that is not enough to stop people driving into water.
“All we ask is that drivers think before they drive into 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.
• At 3.30pm yesterday (Thursday), fire and rescue crews from Saffron Walden and Newport were called to a farm in Wendon Road, Arkesden, after a stack of baled straw collapsed onto overhead cables. Some of the bales fell into a stream, causing it to flood and put nearby houses at risk.
Firefighters used a light portable pump and two major pumps to divert the water away from the houses. They worked with the farmer, who used two diggers to clear the straw.
UK Power Networks engineers were called to deal with the overhead cables.
The incident was dealt with by 12.17am.