Report from 'The Southend Standard'

Benfleet Floods September 19th 1968

Heavy Rainfall led to flooding in Benfleet High Road and close to the Creek.

‘Homes were abandoned as floods hit South-East Essex at the weekend.’  Southend Standard Newspaper Thursday 19th September 1968.

‘Canvey people likened the floods to the 1953 disaster.  They could never remember storm flooding as bad…..  From Friday to Saturday over 5 inches of rain fell on Canvey, according to council figures.’

The road at Benfleet Station was flooded so motorists used the pedestrian underpass instead, so that they could avoid the flood.

About 100 homes in Benfleet had their ground floors flooded.  Worst hit was South Benfleet, by Benfleet Creek from which many people had to be evacuated.  They were put up in the council’s Runnymede Hall for a few days. Southend Standard Newspaper, Thursday 19th September 1968.

One of the contributory causes of the flood was thought to be that one of the pumps down by the creek got flooded and stopped working.  The tide happened to be in so it was difficult to drain Church Creek, so the run off from the heavy rainfall had nowhere to go.

To listen to residents talk about their experiences, click here.

Listen to Councillor Alf Partridge and how the flood was mopped up.

See map at bottom of page.

Pc John Croot carries Mrs. Pat Day to a waiting boat at Brook Road, Benfleet
Don Reed Southend Standard
The same home in 2013 from which Mrs Day was rescued in 1968.
Margaret March
Children settling down for the night on mattresses on the floor at Runnymede Hall, Thundersley
Southend Standard Newspaper
Benfleet Underpass, pictured as things started to return to normal and (inset) cars being driven through the pedestrian tunnel
Southend Standard Newspaper
Benfleet High Road, Salt Box Cottage can be seen in the background.
Southend Standard Newspaper
Mrs Violet Pusey and her son Gary (8) of High Road Benfleet, getting rid of water, which at one point was over a foot deep.
Southend Standard Newspaper
Council give out bedding
Southend Standard Newspaper
Motorists use pedestrian underpass when the road was flooded at Benfleet station.
Ron Reed Photos, Southend Standard.
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