Driver's lucky escape as van swept away in floods

A driver has been describing the moment his van was swept away by flood waters in Much Hadham, Hertfordshire.

Graham Collins from Birchanger, Essex, said: "Bishop's Stortford was gridlocked yesterday because of the floods, so I took a shortcut, drove down to where the water started, drove into the water.

"Realising it was too deep - it come half way up my wheels - stopped, went to turn round, as I turned round, the van went sideways - the water just took the van along and that was it."

The incident was captured on camera by local resident Peter Illston. He had not realised anyone was in the van when he saw it floating in the flood waters. He went to help Graham and saw him being pulled under the water.

He slipped and he actually went under the water but luckily was able to pull himself out.

– Peter Illston, resident

Yesterday morning, the ford in Much Hadham was over six-foot deep. Graham says he was not sure what to do when he lost control of the van.

What went through my mind? Basically survival, just to get out.

– Graham Collins, Driver

Flood waters are gradually going down across our region and the clean-up operation has been getting underway this weekend.

A number of homes and businesses have been hit by flooding. There was damage to shops on Lower Street in Stansted Mountfitchet in Essex.

At Kings Family Butchers, they have had to close while they get back to normal.

These things happen, so you've kind of got to grin and bear it and get on with it.

– Andrew Hornsby, Butcher

Communities are now bracing themselves for more rain, with 34 flood warnings and 40 flood alerts still in place in our region.