On 5th September 1958, the weather was so wet in Essex that newspapers reported that "streets were turned into rivers". As dawn broke, the roads in and out of Rayleigh were littered with abandoned cars and buses and people were advised not to travel due to the terrible weather conditions. Ten years later, the weather was responsible for yet more flooding. People reported seeing a stationary raft in the water in Rayleigh, but it turned out to be the roof of a pumping station almost entirely submerged in 14 feet of flood water caused by the wet weather. The summer of 1985 was one of the wettest on record for Rayleigh. The weather brought rainfall of 9.7 inches, which was the wettest since 1958.

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