HOMES in Essex could be flooded as heavy rain hits the county, weather forecasters have warned.

The Met Office has issued a 15-hour yellow weather warning covering most of Essex, except some towns in the north west of the county like Saffron Walden.

Forecasters said a spell of rain falling onto saturated ground could cause flooding and travel disruption while the warning is in place between noon tomorrow and 3am on Friday.

Rainwater is likely to create difficult driving conditions and cause some roads to be closed.

Commuters have also been warned of expected delays and cancellations to bus and train services.

A slight chance of power cuts and losses to other services are also expected, which follows extensive power cuts across the county this morning.

What is the latest weather forecast for Essex?

The latest forecast from the Met Office says: "A spell of rain is expected to move north east across southern and eastern parts of England on Thursday, clearing during Thursday night.

"The track of the heaviest rainfall remains very uncertain, but there is a chance of 20-30mm falling in six to nine hours across a portion of the warning area, with a few places perhaps seeing 40-50mm.

"Impacts are more likely due to the current very wet ground across the region."

What should I do to prepare for the bad weather in Essex?

The Met Office says: "Check if your property could be at risk of flooding. If so, consider preparing a flood plan and an emergency flood kit.

"Give yourself the best chance of avoiding delays by checking road conditions if driving, or bus and train timetables, amending your travel plans if necessary.

"People cope better with power cuts when they have prepared for them in advance. It’s easy to do; consider gathering torches and batteries, a mobile phone power pack and other essential items.

"Be prepared for weather warnings to change quickly: when a weather warning is issued, the Met Office recommends staying up to date with the weather forecast in your area."