Britain hit by heavy rain and flooding but heatwave set to return

Forecasters predict we will enjoy another bout of scorching weather by the end of the week

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The Independent Online

The heatwave may well have subsided as Britain is battered by torrential rain, thunder and lightening - but don't pack away the suncream just yet.

Forecasters predict we will enjoy another bout of scorching weather by the end of the week, with temperatures hitting 30C in the South East and up to 27C in the North.

Matt Dobson, a senior forecaster with MeteoGroup, the weather division of the Press Association, said: "Today there could be scattered heavy showers and a few thunderstorms to the northern half of the UK.

"We can expect Thursday to be very warm or hot, with temperatures up to 30C in the South East, 28C to 29C across the Midlands, and 25C  to 27C in the North.

But he warned that the warmer temperatures will not see off the wet weather, predicting a growing risk of showers and thunderstorms by Friday night and into the weekend.

Meanwhile, clean-up efforts are continuing in the wake of the recent storms with a major operation under way after a flash flood burst through homes and swept away roads in a Pennines community.

The village of Walsden, near Todmorden in West Yorkshire, was hit by up to 18inches  of water last night after extremely heavy rain.

The flood caused "sheer devastation", according to residents, as it poured from a culvert and down a side street, ripping huge chunks out of the road surface and destroying the road.

Water was still pouring down the street and through at least one house today and around 20 homes are thought to have been flooded.

Walsden resident Roger Stansfield, who was cleaning up his property this morning, said: "It started raining really heavily and within 15 minutes this road was completely flooded to the depth of my wellington boots.

"There's nothing you can do."

Flood warden Keith Crabtree said an "unprecedented" amount of rain has caused "sheer devastation".

He said: "Every road in and out of Todmorden was flooded.

"There's still a lot of water coming off the hillside.

"It happened so quickly. The floods 12 months ago took three days to build up. This one, we just got three quarters of an hour of cloudburst and there's just nothing you can do about that."

Last night, West Yorkshire Police asked people to avoid areas in the town, saying that waves from driving through the water could damage houses.

Railway lines were submerged and Walsden station remained closed today as maintenance crews repaired the tracks.