Flash flooding in Cambridgeshire traps drivers, cuts off power

Cars trapped in flooding near the Bar Hill roundabout Image copyright Richard Mayer
Image caption Rescue crews tried to restart cars that had stalled in the flooding

Torrential rain in Cambridgeshire caused a riverbank to collapse, left 856 homes without power, trapped drivers and closed two supermarkets.

The weather also hit Norfolk and Lincolnshire, where homes were evacuated and an air display cancelled.

BBC Weather said 50mm of rain fell in Cambridgeshire in an hour, damaging the banks of the River Nene in March.

A Tesco shopper said water was "pouring through the ceiling near the fresh fish counter".

'Engines cutting out'

Richard Mayer, 32, became trapped in his car at Bar Hill while he was visiting to buy a home in the area.

Speaking from the vehicle he said: "Water is lapping over the kerb now. People can walk through it, but it's far more than you'd want to drive through.

"I'm sitting in my car on the pavement in order to maintain some height just down from the Bar Hill roundabout near Tesco.

"There are cars everywhere and the flooding is getting worse as people are trying to drive through it, but their engines are cutting out which is causing them to block the road."

Image caption Drivers were being advised to avoid the A428 westbound between Hardwick and Dry Drayton, which is blocked due to flooding
Image caption More than 50mm of rain fell in Cambridgeshire in an hour confirmed BBC Weather

Fire service group commander Ryan Stacey said: "We have seven crews currently in the March, Doddington and Wisbech St Mary areas, assisting with evacuating residents, salvaging and pumping water out of homes.

"The exact number of properties affected cannot be confirmed, but we understand that we are assisting currently at least 60 properties."

He warned: "Don't try to drive through standing water - as well as the water damaging your car, there may be hazards under the water you can't see."

A rest centre was opened in St John the Evangelist Parish Hall in Queens Street, March.

There have also been reports of flash flooding in west Norfolk.

Norfolk Fire and Rescue Service said officers have been dealing with about 40 flood-related calls with ongoing incidents in Swaffham, Necton, Outwell and Downham Market.

Image copyright Supplied
Image caption The heavy rain caused subsidence on parts of the riverbank in March and flooding in The Ship Inn cellar

Police in Cambridgeshire urged people to avoid driving on the county's roads unless absolutely necessary due to the "deluge of rain currently being experienced".

Ch Insp Nick Night said: "We are assisting partner agencies including the Highways Agency, Fire and Rescue Service, Fenland District Council and Cambridgeshire County Council with road closures, evacuating residents and pulling vehicles out of flood water.

"We do not have a stock of sandbags, so please do not call 999 requesting any."

The UK Power Network said it had been working to restore power to homes and about 400 homes were still without power at about 21:00 BST on Friday.

Image caption Bungalows in Poplar Close in March in Cambridgeshire were flooded

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