Flood warning to properties in Halesworth and other flood alerts in Suffolk after heavy rain

Cars drive slowly through deep flooding outside the Ipswich Town training ground in Playford Road.

Cars drive slowly through deep flooding outside the Ipswich Town training ground in Playford Road. - Credit: Sarah Lucy brown

Homes are threatened with flooding in an area of east Suffolk amid forecasts for more heavy rain this afternoon, with police urging motorists to not take the chance of driving through flood water.

Cars drive slowly through deep flooding outside the Ipswich Town training ground in Playford Road.

Cars drive slowly through deep flooding outside the Ipswich Town training ground in Playford Road. - Credit: Sarah Lucy brown

The Environment Agency (EA) has issued a flood warning – the first in the East of England today and the first in Suffolk this winter – for Chediston watercourse in Halesworth after severe rainfall overnight and this morning.

Properties at risk of flooding in Halesworth include the Thoroughfare, Chediston Street, Saxons Way and School Lane, as well as the A144 and the railway line.

In a statement, the EA said: “We are seeing high river levels on the Chediston watercourse due to rainfall last night and into this morning. River levels are likely to continue to rise before stabilising later today.

“Over the next four hours the forecast is for heavy rain. Properties are at risk on Thoroughfare, Chediston Street, Saxons Way and School Lane in Halesworth, and the A144 and the railway line at Halesworth.

“We will continue to monitor levels closely.”

Inspector Julian Ditcham of the Joint Roads Policing and Firearms Operations Unit urged drivers to take the following advice in the current adverse weather conditions: “Do allow extra time for your journey and make sure your headlights are switched on if the visibility is poor.

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“Reduce your speed and allow a greater distance between you and the vehicle ahead. If you are unsure of the depth of water in a flooded area of road then use an alternative route.”

The EA also said properties were at risk in Wrentham – on Chapel Road, London Road, The Chestnuts and The Lane, along with the A12.

Meanwhile, three flood alerts – the least severe of three flood ratings, under flood warning and severe flood warning – have been issued to other areas of Suffolk.

River levels are rising in the Stowmarket and Needham Market area at Rattlesden River and the River Gipping, while the other EA flood alert was issued for River Deben from Debenham to Bromeswell and the River Lark from Clopton to Martlesham.

The ES also issued a flood alert for The Thorpeness Hundred River and the River Ore from Framlingham to Blaxhall.

Further rain is predicted for the three areas this afternoon. It comes after a number of localised flooding was reported around the county and forecasters said more than half of January’s average rainfall has already fallen this month.

An EA spokesman said: “We are seeing river levels rise on the Rattlesden River and the River Gipping due to rainfall last night and through this morning. River levels are likely to continue to rise before stabilising.

“Over the next two hours the forecast is for heavy rain. We will continue to monitor levels closely.”

The spokesman added: “We are seeing river levels rise on the River Lark and River Deben due to rainfall last night and through this morning.

“River levels are likely to continue to rise before stabilising later today. Over the next three hours the forecast is for heavy rain. We will continue to monitor levels closely.”

It comes after rush-hour motorists faced a morning of misery in the county today.

In Ipswich, key routes including Felixstowe Road, Bramford Road and Wherstead Road were affected.

In Station Road, Old Newton, near Stowmarket, a car was “stuck up to its bonnet” in an area of localised flooding at 11.30am. The car had been dragged out by a 4x4 by midday. There were no injuries.

Other areas of localised flooding include: the B1078 Church Road in Coddenham at the School Road junction; Northfield Road in Onehouse around the Forest Road junction; B1117 in Heveningham blocked between the Heveningham Long Lane junction and the Cookley Road junction; and Yoxford Road in Sibton.

There are currently 14 flood alerts in the East of England.

Meanwhile, following the heavy rain today, forecasters have said there is a 10% chance of snow falling in the county next week.

Temperatures are also set to fall to below freezing for the first time this winter, with the weather set to take a turn for the worst.

Adam Dury, forecaster for Weatherquest, said: “The forecast for next week shows there is potential for it to get colder. It is tricky to say there will be a lot of snow, but we might get the odd snow flurry.

“Next Tuesday, there is potential for a few snow flurries over East Anglia. There is a much greater chance of snowfall in northern Britain, Wales and Scotland though.

“I would say there is only a 10% chance of snowfall for the region next week. That could increase close to the time, but currently there is a low risk.

“Tonight, it will be chilly, with temperatures dropping to 1C (33.8F) or 2C (35.6F) across the region and country.

“On Sunday night, it could be 0C (32F) to 2C in some places, and as low as -1C (30.2F) on Tuesday and Wednesday.

“But it will be 3C (37.4F) to 5C (41F) during the daytime, so if there is any snowfall at night, it will melt during the day.”