Uttlesford District Council has advised residents and businesses that it does NOT provide sandbags.

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Uttlesford stopped storing and supplying sandbags about seven years ago due to a lack of demand and difficulties in storage and distribution.

Some local parish councils may supply them – although Saffron Walden Town has run out.

If you have suffered flooding or are aware that your property might be affected, find below some ideas on what you can do to help prevent flooding or potential flood damage:

• If water levels are rising you can make your own sandbags from old pillow cases or plastic sacks by filling them with earth and laying them like normal sandbags.

• Sandbags can be obtained from your local builders’ merchants, filled or empty, and you can store your own sand to fill when needed. Details on how to properly store sandbags can be sought through the district council

• The National Flood Forum (floodforum.org.uk) has lots of good information put together by homeowners who have suffered major flooding and loss of property and, in its “Blue Pages”, lists various companies that can supply sandbags, flood sacks (a similar flat-packed product to traditional sandbags) air brick covers, flood boards and larger products for businesses and more substantial buildings.

• Also and most importantly you should register free with the Environment Agency’s Flood Watch (environment-agency.gov.uk/homeandleisure/floods/). This service enables you to get early warnings of expected floods in your area by pager, phone, fax, email or text so wherever you are you can get advance warning of rising levels of water and put your flood defences in place.

Uttlesford District C0uncil regularly conducts surveys of the culverts to remove any debris. In preparation for the potential of further flooding over the weekend, the authority, together with the town and parish councils, has said it will check the culverts today and will clear any debris where possible.

Cllr Jim Ketteridge, leader of the district council said: “This is an extreme case of flooding in our district and we want to urge residents to take extra care during this time.

“Most importantly it is advised not to drive through any flood water and to call emergency services should you be affected.”

Heavy overnight rain has caused widespread flooding across the district, with Essex County Fire & Rescue Service (ECFRS) attending over 70 flood-related incidents in Saffron Walden, Stansted, Elsenham, Clavering and Newport.

In Radwinter Road, Saffron Walden, 10 people – eight adults and two children – and two dogs were rescued from flats which had flooded in The Spike. The ECFRS boat was sent to assist with rescuing the residents.

There was flooding in Clavering, Stansted Mountfitchet, Newport and Elsenham, while the roads between Takeley, Hatfield Heath, Hatfield Broad Oak and Stansted Airport were heavily flooded in lower areas.

Saffron Walden County High and Newport Free Grammar School were both closed, as were Newport, Clavering, Radwinter, Henham & Ugley, Elsenham, Rickling Green, Farnham, Manuden primary schools.

• If you know of other parts of Uttlesford that have been flooded or have any pictures, e-mail us at editor@saffronwalden-reporter.co.uk or Tweet us using the handle @swreporter24

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