Essex

Southend flooding: Six people rescued from cars

Flood water at the Happidrome Image copyright Martin Richardson
Image caption The Happidrome and other arcades in Southend were hit by flooding

Six people were rescued from cars trapped in flood water, as heavy rain hit Essex overnight.

During a "very busy two hour period" on Friday, the fire service said it received more than 100 calls to over 30 flooding incidents in Southend.

Six people were rescued after their vehicles got stuck at a flooded roundabout on Woodgrange Drive.

The roof of the Pearl Dragon restaurant collapsed under the weight of the rain. No-one was hurt.

Crews were also sent to the Sea Life Centre, opposite the restaurant on the Eastern Esplanade, to pump water from the building.

Martin Richardson, owner of the Happidrome on Southend's Golden Mile, said the amusement arcade had been overcome by water.

"It came through the back, the side, it came through the wall, it came through the roof, the main drains," he said. "At least four of the arcades on the promenade suffered.

"It's going to be a long while before we're open."

Image copyright Shell Frost
Image caption Shell Frost advised people on Twitter not to use Shaftesbury Avenue and Victoria Road in Southend
Image copyright @tall_tim_n
Image caption Fast flowing water was seen heading towards Westcliff station in Southend
Image copyright Ian Puckey
Image caption BBC Essex presenter Ian Puckey said the River Brain had a "new route"
Image copyright Ian Puckey
Image caption The bowling green in Witham was also hit by flooding

Mark Baumann, owner of the Bourgee restaurant on the seafront, said he watched in vain as flood water entered the building.

"I've never seen rain like it," he said. "The water started to come into the restaurant, and then it went further, and further.

"It was all hands on deck - some of the customers helped to squeegee the water away."

The rain has resulted in traffic delays, with the A12 London-bound at Witham blocked by flood water.

BBC Travel has the latest on the disruption.

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