Government officials considered deliberately flooding parts of Essex to stop central London from being swamped by flood waters, according to newly-released papers.
It was suggested as gates for the Thames Barrier were stranded by a dock strike in Teesside in the late 1970s.
The idea was to breach flood defences downstream so that some of the water would flood in to low lying land in Essex and Kent, the contingency planning documents dating from July 25, 1979 to December 22, 1983 from the National Archives state.
Such drastic action would have meant "major political difficulty" for the Government, it was stated.
More top news
Six people - aged between 16 and 28 - have been arrested over two stabbings in Newmarket earlier this week.
The NSPCC is referring a record number of reports of neglect to police and social services - including a massive increase from this region.
MK Dons captain Dean Lewington talks to ITV News Anglia about his career at the club and why he's still as proud as ever to wear the shirt.