Drivers face misery after Southern England was battered with heavy rain, causing travel chaos ahead of the second Christmas getaway day.

Dramatic images posted by firefighters in Essex show roads submerged by water, making them impossible to pass.

A severe weather warning for more heavy rain is in place across southern England until noon on Sunday.

It warns of potential travel delays and flooding as up to 30mm of rain is forecast in parts during the warning period.

This morning Henfield Fire and Rescue Service in West Sussex warned motorists to avoid the A281, which is blocked by floodwater.

Drivers have been warned to avoid the A281 in Sussex

It warned: "This road is currently closed, please do not ignore road closed signs, these are there for your safety."

The River Darent in Eynsford, Kent has burst its banks overnight due to the continued heavy rain.

And rail passengers endured long delays due to flooding at Mitcham Junction in South London.

It follows a day of chaos on Friday, when Sussex Police described driving conditions in the region as "miserable", and said there was "a lot of standing water on the roads".

Devon and Cornwall Police said flooding across the force area made "a number of roads impassable" and it urged motorists to take extra care and avoid driving into standing water.

Norfolk and Suffolk Police said roads in both counties were affected by floodwater.

The River Roding in Essex floods its pathway as water levels rise

Met Office meteorologist Alex Deakin said: "Because it's been so very wet across the south this extra rain falling onto saturated ground could cause some further problems, so there is a weather warning in force scooting along southern counties during Saturday evening."

He added the rain was coming from a "fairly angry weather system" which will also bring some "very strong winds".

Some 101 flood warnings - where flooding is expected - are in place for England, alongside 256 flood alerts, which warn flooding is possible.

The Met Office is forecasting up to 30mm of rain in parts of the South while the warning is in place.

The River Darent in Eynsford, Kent has burst its banks overnight due to the continued heavy rain

On Friday, adverse weather led to the part-closure of the M23 motorway while several rail lines were blocked.

Highways England has urged motorists to adapt their driving for wet weather by slowing down, keeping well back from the vehicle in front and easing off the accelerator if steering becomes unresponsive.

John Halsall, managing director of Network Rail's southern region, said the combination of one of the wettest autumns since records began with a month's worth of rainfall in the past five days has put the rail network "under enormous pressure".

A woman is blocked by floodwater in Welney, Norfolk

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Southern, Thameslink and Gatwick Express services were affected after rail lines were flooded.

Southern Rail warned this morning: "Spells of heavy rain or showers may cause flooding on the railway leading to some potential disruption.

"For now you should travel as you usually would, but be sure to check closer to the time of your journey as the weather and its affects can be unpredictable."