DCSIMG

Schools shut and roads underwater as flooding hits Haverhill and surrounding villages

A police officer moves a car abandoned in the flood water on the A143 just outside Haverhill

A police officer moves a car abandoned in the flood water on the A143 just outside Haverhill

 

Flooding is causing chaos in Haverhill and surrounding villages this morning, with one school closed and some roads under water.

Burton End Primary School in Haverhill is closed after a couple of classrooms and the kitchen were flooded.

Although a few pupils whose parents have been unable to make alternative arrangements for them are being cared for, the school will remain closed.

Clements Primary School in Haverhill is also shut, as are the primary schools in Clare and Hundon.

The A143 is flooded near The Fox in Little Wratting and police were this morning trying to remove a Ford Ka that was stuck in the water, although the road is passable with care.

Both Sturmer and Wixoe have been badly affected by the rains, with the latter very close to being cut off, while many other roads have lots of surface water on them.

A flood warning was this morning issued by the Environment Agency for the Stour Brook at Haverhill to Sturmer and the Bumpstead Brook from Steeple Bumpstead to New England.

Flooding is expected for waterside properties in Haverhill, Broad Green and Sturmer, including the B1054, B1061 and the A143.

The warning went on to say that heavy rainfall over night has caused river levels to rise. River levels are expected to continue to rise slowly over the next 24 hours.

The peak of the river is now in Sturmer, as this picture of village resident Sarah Howard’s back garden clearly shows.

The river normally has just a few inches of water in it, but today is spilling over its banks.

The weather has also left part of Haverhill Rugby Club’s pitches in Castle Playing Fields under water, as the picture taken by the first team’s head coach Martin Hughes illustrates.

Needless to say, the first team match at home to Felixstowe tomorrow (Saturday ) will not take place.

River levels are likely to continue to rise. Over the next 12 hours the forecast is for light rain.

Flooding is expected for waterside properties in Haverhill, Broad Green and Sturmer, including the B1054, B1061 and the A143.

The Environment Agency is monitoring the situation closely, working alongside partners including the Met Office and local authorities.

- Act now to protect yourself and your property.

- Keep your colleagues and customers informed of the situation.

- If it’s safe to do so, block doors with flood boards or sandbags and cover airbricks and other ventilation holes.

- If you are caught in a flash flood, get to higher ground. Stay away from flood water and don’t take risks.

- If it’s safe, move stock and valuable items to a safe place.

- Avoid walking, cycling or driving through flood water.

- Turn off gas, electricity and water if your property is about to flood. Never touch an electrical switch if you are standing in water.

- Call Floodline on 0845 988 1188 using quickdial 036311 for up-to-date flooding information.

- Keep an eye on local water levels and weather conditions. The Environment Agency website contains details of river level and flooding information and can be accessed at www.environment-agency.gov.uk.

With many roads flooded, police are also advising motorists to take extra care,giving out the following precautions, especially during heavy bursts of rain where the roads become flooded and spray becomes a hazard to road users.

- Reduce your speed

- Use dipped headlights

- Increase your distance from the vehicle in front and be prepared to move further back if your visibility gets worse

- Make sure your windscreen wipers are in good working order

- Beware of slippery road surfaces, especially if the rain follows a long dry spell

- Watch out for standing water and areas of flooding

- Do not drive through flooded areas as it unknown how deep the water could be.

Further information about road safety can be found on the Suffolk Police website: www.suffolk.pnn.police.uk.

 

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