WET weather meant popular beaches and parks were deserted despite the summer holidays being in full swing, but forecasters predict things will get drier soon.

A yellow weather warning for heavy rain was in place yesterday, meaning popular tourist hotspots like Dovercourt beach and Castle Park had much less visitors than usual.

But Tom Defty from the Essex Weather Centre said the heavy downpours should clear, with drier weather expected over the weekend but the mercury is not expected to threaten the scorching temperatures of the early summer.

He said: “It is the same area of low pressure in the North Sea going round and round and it should clear.

“What is concerning is the temperature - the 14 degrees on Wednesday is nine or ten lower than average.

“This year it felt like we skipped spring as we had a harsh winter and then a very warm start to summer.

“It has been very good weather for thunderstorms.”

Canoeists were able to row down a residential street in Witham after it flooded.

Kath Ellis, 46, who has lived in Brook Walk for 16 years, saw flood water rise more than 2ft following a short burst of rain on Tuesday.

She said: “We live behind a brook and I understand that is going to overflow sometimes.

“But this happens every year, and several times, and no one ever does anything about it.

“Cars still attempt driving through the water which cause a tidal wave and makes things worse.

“I was wearing wellies when I walked across to my car but the water filled them up.

“Two kids were in a canoe - it is crazy.”

But the rain is not bad news for everyone.

Daisy Bailey who runs Go Bananas in the Cowdray Centre, Colchester, said the soft play area was much busier than usual.

She said: “We were expecting it to be quiet - the summer holidays are when people want to be doing outdoor activities but it has been manic.

“It has been so busy we need more room and more car parking space but we are coping well and people haven’t had to wait long.

“It has been like October half term in August.

“We don’t mind the rain.”