Update: flood rescues continue after severe flooding

Flood warnings remain in place as major incident continues

A major incident is still in place in Suffolk following severe flooding caused by Storm Babet.

People are still be asked to travel only if absolutely necessary – for example to collect children from school, for medical reasons and returning home.

Throughout the day, the emergency services and public bodies have been working together to respond to the floods, alongside a huge community effort.

As at 8pm this evening (20 October) there are still children and teachers being kept safe in schools and leisure centres. 

In the Babergh and Mid Suffolk districts, this includes in Debenham, Mendlesham, Stradbroke, Stowupland and Wetheringsett.

In some cases, arrangements are being made for children to stay the night. In other cases, it is becoming possible for vehicles to reach the schools - meaning children can go home. Local farmers are assisting with evacuations in some cases. Parents are being kept informed directly by schools. 

Meanwhile, flood warnings remain in place across the districts. People are urged to get the latest information from the UK's live flood map - with this likely to change throughout the weekend. Chad Brook at Long Melford has burst its banks.

Jon Lacey, Suffolk’s Chief Fire Officer, said:

“Although the rainfall is easing in many places, the sheer volume of surface water running off fields and onto Suffolk roads means conditions are still dangerous.

“We are therefore continuing to ask people to travel only where it is absolutely essential – for example collecting a child from school, accessing medical treatment or returning home from work. Reducing non-essential travel means more people stay safe and pressure on the emergency services is reduced.

“Although the Suffolk Resilience Forum will continue to do all it can to help protect our county, everyone needs to take precautions to ensure they do not put themselves and others in danger.”

If people do need to travel on roads, motorists are advised to drive with caution due to the heavy rain and keep alert for surface water, drive according to the conditions, keep headlights on and increase distance from the vehicle in front and be prepared to back off if visibility gets worse.

Flood warning sign