Heavy rainfall and thunderstorms predicted this evening in Essex

The Met Office have issued an amber warning until around midnight in parts of Essex, including Chelm

The Met Office have issued an amber warning until around midnight in parts of Essex, including Chelmsford. Picture: MET OFFICE - Credit: Archant

Forecasters have predicted heavy rainfall and thunderstorms in parts of Essex this afternoon and evening.

The Met Office has issued an amber warning from 3pm today to around midnight in parts of Essex, including Chelmsford, and west and south Essex.

Essex Police have warned this could lead to flooding and difficult driving conditions.

If you have to make a car journey, Essex Police have issued this advice:

Plan your journey in advance and allow extra time. Check for up to date information for travel and weather on your local radio station or on Twitter by following @Metoffice @HighwaysEAST @Essex_Travel

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Keep a safe distance from the vehicle in front, be patient and drive at a speed appropriate to road conditions; be aware of pedestrians and cyclists.

Check your tyres, wiper blades and lights are in good working order. Keep your windows and mirrors clear.

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Essex Police have issued the following advice if you do come across a flooded road:

Please don't drive through flood water if you know it's too deep as your car could easily be swept away. Cars can float in as little as 12 inches of water and you can cause damage to your engine. If in doubt, don't risk it.

If you have to drive through water, use a low gear so the engine revs are higher, slipping the clutch if necessary or, for an automatic vehicle, select the lowest ratio and balance the throttle and brakes. Drive slowly and steadily and don't drive through water while other vehicles are passing.

Test your brakes as soon as you pass through the water.

If you get stuck, don't repeatedly try to start the engine. Call for recovery and wait in a safe place.

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