IT has been a damp winter so far with a huge amount of rainfall - but nothing can compare to the night almost six decades ago which saw devastating floods hit our region.

In February 1953 a huge storm pushed a great tide into the east coast, which breached Essex sea walls in 300 places and spelt disaster for residents in Mersea, Jaywick and Harwich.

A total of 104 people died in Essex, including 35 in Jaywick, eight in Harwich and 61 across south Essex.

The south of the county was also severely hit, in particular Canvey Island, by the flood surge which generations continue to remember all these years later.

The Essex County Standard reported horrific stories from the floods when it was published on February 6.

This included that about about Marie Miles, 42, who was among those who perished in the floods in Jaywick.

Paralysed from the waist down and watching the floods approach her bungalow, she managed to phone her two friends, Mr and Mrs Reeves, of Rosemary Way, who saved themselves and their young children by climbing into a loft before the water struck.

Miss Miles was unable to escape the torrent as it flooded her bungalow.

Along the coast, 3,500 people were also left homeless in Harwich.

As these images from our archives show troops and volunteers sprung into action to clear up and alleviate the damage which destroyed caravans and homes across the region.

A total of 50,000 acres of farm land were left underwater and thousands of cattle, pigs and chickens were also lost to the floods.

Do you have any pictures of bad flooding in years gone by? or of major events through the history of Colchester and north Essex ?

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