Flooding causes travel disruption and damage across East Anglia

Flooding in Wellingborough on 5 January.
Credit: PA
Flooding in Wellingborough in Northamptonshire. Credit: PA

Nearly 40 flood warnings have been put in place across the East of England, after heavy rain fell on already saturated ground.

The region had seen widespread flooding in the aftermath of Storm Henk, which hit the UK on Tuesday afternoon.

But further rain on Thursday evening has caused flooding, with multiple flood warnings in place for Northamptonshire, Bedfordshire and Milton Keynes.

In Northamptonshire, hundreds of people are still out of their homes at a caravan park which was flooded by the River Nene.

Our live coverage has now concluded, but you can catch up on it below.

Let us know how the flooding is affecting you by emailing anglianews@itv.com

  • 1.40pm - People abandoning cars

Suffolk Highways said many cars had been abandoned on flooded roads and appealed to drivers to collect them as soon as possible.

They said they had received multiple reports of abandoned vehicles across the county following Storm Henk and recent flooding after heavy rainfall.

A spokesperson said: “We ask that these are moved as soon as it is safe to do so to enable our operatives to carry out essential repairs as part of the recovery effort.”

Highways bosses want people to recover abandoned cars as soon as possible. Credit: ITV News Anglia

  • 1.10pm - 'A very busy, windy and wet season'

ITV News Anglia meteorologist Aisling Creevey writes: "Since storm naming began in 2017, there haven't been as many named storms at this point in the season.

"So far there have been 8 named storms, up to Storm Henk, which hit on Tuesday."

The increased number is because of the changed storm naming conventions, but also because of the unusually volatile conditions this winter.

"It's been a very busy, windy and wet season," says Aisling.

"The protocol is evolving, but it also takes into consideration social factors such as how it is likely to impact people - so the fact that lots of people would have been travelling after New Year is a factor in whether a storm becomes a named event or not."

A string of bad weather also increases the chances of a storm being named as - for example - average rain falling on already-saturated ground can lead to greater risk of flooding.

  • 12.50pm - River levels 'scary'

Rivers in the region are swollen and fast-flowing after the heavy rain overnight.

Christine Mitchell sent this picture from the town of Ramsey in Cambridgeshire, showing brown water surging between homes.

She said she did not stay long and described the water levels as “scary”.

A fast-flowing river at Ramsey in Cambridgeshire after Thursday night's heavy rain Credit: Christine Mitchell

  • 12.40pm - Reporting from inside the flood

ITV News Anglia has reporters and camera crews across the region as we report on the flood - and here's the proof.

This came from our camera operator Lucy Benneworth, who is filming (and apparently standing in) the flooding at Thornham in Suffolk.

Credit: ITV News Anglia

  • 12.32pm - This winter's flooding is worst in 80 years, says pensioner

People in Stowupland near Stowmarket in Suffolk have been hit hard by the floods.

Bryan Leeks, 80, has lived in his house all his life and has never been flooded until October.

Since then Mr Leeks has been flooded three times.

He told ITV News Anglia reporter Rob Setchell said the drains just can’t cope and the water maroons him in his home, even reaching his bedroom on the ground floor.

Bryan Leeks, from Stowupland, has been flooded three times since October. Credit: ITV News Anglia

  • 12.12pm - Football stand wrecked by storm

A football club in Aylesbury in Buckinghamshire has been left lamenting its bad luck after Storm Henk left one of its buildings wrecked.

Aylesbury Vale Dynamos FC posted on X showing the ruined shelter blown on its side and parts of the ground underwater.

The club said: “Our cow shed falls victim to the battering storm and leaves carnage in its wake.”

One of the stands at Aylesbury Vale Dynamos FC has been blown apart in the recent storms. Credit: Aylesbury Vale Dynamos FC
Heavy rain has left flooding at Aylesbury Vale Dynamos FC Credit: Aylesbury Vale Dynamos FC

  • 11.50am - Just how heavy was the rain on Thursday?

Well, the short answer is very heavy, according to ITV News Anglia meteorologist Aisling Creevey.

She said: “Overnight there was one to two weeks’ worth of rainfall widely across the whole of the Anglia region.

"An Environment Agency gauge in Bedfordshire picked up 33.4mm of rainfall in Flitwick - that's more than half a month's worth of rain in about 12 hours.

"Needham Market in Suffolk received 25.4mm of rainfall - while across the county as a whole there was about a week’s worth of rainfall."

Flooding on Mill Lane between St Neots and Little Paxton, Cambridgeshire. Credit: James Beech/X

  • 11.32am - A421 reopens after flooding

National Highways said flooding which had closed the A421 in Bedfordshire overnight between the M1 at J13 and the A6 has just been cleared.

Heavy rain left the road underwater on Thursday night.

National Highways East posted on X, formerly Twitter, to say the carriageway was now open with no delays.

  • 11.11am - Landslip delaying trains through Bedfordshire

Part of the line has collapsed in a landslip at Arlesley in Bedfordshire. Credit: Thameslink

A landslip is affecting a railway embankment near Arlesey in Bedfordshire.

Thameslink - which tweeted an image of the landslip - said it was on the west side of the railway. 

The damage means that the line used by northbound stopping services is shut, and there is a 20mph speed restriction on the two lines used by northbound and southbound express services.

Passengers travelling north to Arlesley should get off at Biggleswade and change for a southbound service.

Travellers going from Arlesley towards Peterborough should go south to Hitchin and change trains for a northbound service there.

  • 11.07am - Billing Aquadrome owners assessing damage

Bosses at the flooded Billing Aquadrome in Northamptonshire say they will have to wait until the water subsides before they can work out how much damage there has been.

They say “damage has likely occurred to infrastructure and utilities however the extent of such is difficult to determine until the water recedes”.

The managers - who came in for criticism from residents for poor communication - thanked owners for getting off the site, and for the emergency services who “have worked tirelessly and under difficult and precarious conditions”.

They said they would update residents soon on when they would be able to return to claim more of their possessions from their homes and caravans.

Drone shots show the flooding at Billing Aquadrome, Northamptonshire, on Wednesday. Credit: PA

  • 10.56am - Check the flood warnings where you live

The Environment Agency says there are around 35 flood warnings across the ITV News Anglia region.

It is urging people to check its map to find out whether their areas are affected - you can do so through their interactive map.

  • 10.45am - Schools closed in Norfolk and Suffolk

Four schools are closed in Norfolk and Suffolk due to the flooding.

So far, Mendlesham Primary and Old Newton Primary, both in Stowmarket, Somersham Primary in Ipswich and Catfield Primary School in Great Yarmouth are all closed this morning.

  • 10.38am - Road closures Bedfordshire

People in Bedfordshire are being warned to check before they travel with a “significant” number of road closures in place including the A421 eastbound from the M1 to Marston.

The fire service said it had received more than 30 flood-related calls since 8pm on Thursday.

Crews were called to Leighton Buzzard with police after the Clipstone Brook burst its banks but no one needed to be rescued.

Central Bedfordshire Council has set up help centres at Meadow Way Community centre and Tiddenfoot Leisure Centre for anyone who needs to leave their homes.

Group commander Rob Hulatt said: “Partners from across Bedfordshire Local Resilience Forum have been working together overnight to support residents impacted by flooding and to manage road closures.”

  • 10.15am - Welland bursts its banks

The River Welland at Crowland breaking its banks on Thursday evening. Credit: Daniel Abbott

Images show the River Welland in Crowland near Peterborough bursting its banks.  

Dramatic footage shows water flooding through the breach near Postland pumping station on to farmland.

A spokesperson for the Environment Agency said: "As a result of the recent rainfall from Storm Henk, which fell on already saturated catchments, we are aware that a breach has now developed at Cowbit Wash on the River Welland.

"The area the water is filling is a flood storage reservoir and no properties are currently at risk."

Want a quick and expert briefing on the biggest news stories? Listen to our latest podcasts to find out What You Need To Know