High water in the River Stort has damaged cars and front gardens in north-west Essex.

After 11 millimetres of rainfall on Christmas Eve and Christmas Day, according to Environment Agency data, the river through Clavering burst its banks.

A resident, who did not want to be named, said that water entered front gardens, and that a car was washed downstream from the Middle Street ford on Boxing Day (December 26).

An Essex Highways spokesperson said drivers must take care at fords after heavy rain.

They said: "Persistent rain has led to flooded roads in a number of places, urban and rural.

"We always advise drivers to exercise caution and not to attempt to cross fords if the water level is excessively high."

They added that highways teams cleared 126,000 road drains last year, but run-off can raise river levels.

The spokesperson said: “Often, allowing time for the water to drain naturally is the only solution."