The heavy rain on Sunday came after a heatwave earlier this week brought days of record-breaking temperatures to parts of the country.
Torrential rain has flooded parts of London and the South after thunderstorms struck. Areas including Hackney Wick, Newham and Barking were affected by the downpours, with videos showing cars driving through deep water and people walking nearly knee-deep at times. Another video showed Pudding Mill Lane DLR station in Stratford under water after heavy rainfall on Sunday.
Two hospitals reported issues with their emergency departments due to the weather. Whipps Cross Hospital in Leytonstone said it was experiencing “operational issues due to the heavy rainfall”, while Newham Hospital said its A&E department had flooded in some areas.
A spokesperson for Barts Health NHS Trust said on Sunday evening: “We are experiencing operational issues at Whipps Cross Hospital and Newham Hospital due to the heavy rainfall. “We are working closely with our local partners to resolve the issues and maintain patient care and – while services remain available for people in an emergency – patients are asked to attend alternative hospitals where they can, to help us put solutions in place as quickly as possible.”
Heavy rain could cause hazardous conditions for drivers.
The Met Office issued an amber warning for storms covering London and surrounding counties where homes and businesses are at risk of flooding, which was in place until Sunday evening. The Environment Agency still has six flood warnings in place across the country’s southeast, while there are 19 alerts for potential flooding active throughout England and Wales. The torrential downpours came after a heatwave earlier this week brought days of record-breaking temperatures.
Residents in Woodford were forced to use buckets, brooms and wooden boards to create flood defences and scoop the water from their homes. One local, Mariya Peeva said: “My son went to buy some food from the local shop – by the time he came back the whole street and the pavement were already flooded and the water was coming into our front door.”
Pudding Mill Lane DLR station in London was underwater after heavy rain.
Buses were also left stranded on waterlogged roads in Battersea. Mayor of London Sadiq Khan advised people to “avoid walking or driving through floodwater” and to call 999 in an emergency.
“If you’re travelling, check your route as multiple @TfL bus, tube and rail services are affected. “Avoid walking or driving through flood water. In an emergency, call 999.” The wettest part of the country on Sunday was St James’s Park in London, where 41.6mm of rain fell. In Hertfordshire, the Standon Calling festival was forced to come to an early conclusion due to the weather, with people told to leave the site as quickly as possible.
Met Office meteorologist Steven Keates warned on Sunday evening that parts of the South between south Suffolk and the Isle of Wight could be deluged by 100mm of rain in just a few hours. He said the storms were being caused by a “convergence” of air currents, due to warmth in the Earth’s surface from the recent heatwave rising into cooler air in the atmosphere.
It came after lightning set fire to houses in Andover, Hampshire, on Saturday morning, forcing residents to leave. Neighbours heard an “enormous bang” as the strike set two homes ablaze on Mercia Avenue, and a 70-year-old woman was assessed by paramedics.
Kingston Police, who oversee a borough in the amber zone for storms, warned motorists to “drive carefully” and remember they are “not driving a submarine”. The force said in a tweet: “Please remember to drive carefully. “Also remember that you’re not driving a submarine. Do not enter what could possibly be deep water. “Watch your speed and distance as stopping distances will be greater.”
Heavy rain fell on central London as the Met Office issued amber warnings for the South
The rain brought an end to the heatwave earlier this week, potentially disappointing anyone who hoped for a dry, sunny trip to the coast. The rest of the country was forecast to experience a cloudy, more settled end to the week while sunshine is expected in Scotland. Temperatures are set to rise in most places again on Monday as the storms clear, with the mercury predicted to reach 26C in London, 25C in Edinburgh, 24C in Cardiff, and 22C in Belfast.
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