New Met Office weather warning for further thunderstorms across Essex

Lightening strikes spotted over Southend on the morning of May 2, 2024
Lightening strikes spotted over Southend on the morning of May 2, 2024 -Credit:Aaron Chesham

Essex could be battered by further thunderstorms later today (May 2) as the Met Office has issued a further weather warning. The yellow warning covers mid and north Essex including Chelmsford, the Dengie peninsula, Maldon, Harlow, Braintree, Colchester and Harwich.

The Met Office said that thunderstorms are "likely" from midday until midnight tonight in parts of the county and have advised some roads could flood, and people could face disruptions if travelling. The warning is in place from 12pm to 11.59pm. It follows another yellow warning last night which saw thunder and lightning sweep across Essex.

There could be spray and sudden flooding could lead to difficult driving conditions and some road closures. Where flooding or lightning strikes occur, there is a chance of delays and some cancellations to train and bus services.

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The Met Office said there is a slight chance that power cuts could occur and other services to some homes and businesses could be lost. There is also a small chance that homes and businesses could be flooded quickly, with damage to some buildings from floodwater, lightning strikes, hail or strong winds.

The Met has issued the following advice for staying safe in a thunderstorm:

Could you be at risk of flooding

Follow this three-point plan to check and be prepared:

  1. Check if your property is at risk.

If you are at risk, take the next two steps to protect your property when you need to:

  1. Prepare a flood plan

  2. Prepare an emergency flood kit

Staying safe in flooding

It's never too late to take action and prepare for flooding. Follow these 6 simple steps to protect your home or business:

  1. Check the flood advice in your area to know when and where flooding will happen

  2. Charge mobile phone devices

  3. Park your car outside the flood zone

  4. Prepare a flood kit to help you cope in the event of flooding to your home and business

  5. Store valuables up high, including electrical devices, important documents and furniture

  6. Turn off gas water and electricity supplies

If you are trapped in a building by floodwater, follow these simple instructions to keep you and your family safe:

  • Go to the highest level in the building you are in

  • Do not go into attic spaces to avoid being trapped by rising water

  • Only go to a roof if necessary

  • Call 999 and wait for help

Is it safe for you to drive?

It is safer not to drive in thunderstorms but if you must drive you can do this more safely by:

  • Slowing down

  • Using main roads

  • Using dipped headlights

  • Giving yourself more time to react on slippery surfaces

  • Keeping a bigger gap between vehicles

What about flood water?

It is not safe to drive or walk or swim through floodwater, avoid it where possible and if you are affected by fast flowing or deep water call 999 and wait for help.

What you can do in a powercut

People cope better with power cuts when they have prepared for them in advance and it's easy to do. The essentials that could help you cope with a power cut are:

  • candles and matches or lighters,

  • torches and batteries,

  • a mobile phone power pack

If your power goes out these simple steps can help you deal with the situation:

  • Switch off all electrical appliances that shouldn’t be left unattended, ready for when the power comes back on.

  • Leave a light on, so you know when the power cut has been fixed.

  • Check to see if your neighbours are safe and if they have a power cut too. If they have power, your trip switch may have been activated.

  • If it's cold, wrap up warm and close internal doors to keep the heat in.

  • Portable heaters are a good alternative if heating systems are down.

  • Call 105 for information, it’s a free service for people in England, Scotland and Wales.

Protecting your property from damage and other people from injury

Don't risk injury to others or damage to your property. Check for loose items outside your home and plan how you could secure them in high winds.
Items include:

  • bins

  • plant pots

  • garden furniture (bring inside or secure in place)

  • trampolines (turn upside down or secure with tent pegs)

  • sheds (ensure doors are locked)