Weather: Floods in a flash as more thunderstorms hit south-east England


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The Independent Online

Thunderstorms and torrential rain saw flooding across parts of the Midlands and south-east England on Sunday leaving motorists stranded in up to a foot of water.

Two flood warnings – at Southend in Essex and another just north of Norwich – issued by the Environment Agency were in place at 10pm, along with 23 flood alerts.

The Met Office issued a yellow alert for rain for most of eastern Britain, from the Orkney Islands to Kent.

A spokesman for Essex Fire and Rescue Service said firefighters were dealing with “numerous flood and weather related calls across the county following thunder, lightning and heavy downpours”.

“Canvey is one area particularly affected but calls have also included Southend, Harlow, Aveley, Ongar and Corringham, and resources are stretched.”

Video: Storms battered the UK on Friday

The floods hit as Fire Brigades Union members went on strike from 5pm to 7pm on Sunday.

Flooding near Billericay forced halted the train service between Shenfield and Southend, although they started running again with delays. Buses were also replacing trains between Wickford and Southminster after flooding on that stretch of the line.

Essex Police said properties in Canvey Island were flooded, while roads were blocked by flood water in Southend, Rayleigh, Castle Point, Wickford and Ramsden Heath.

Southend University Hospital's accident and emergency department was temporarily closed due to flooding, the BBC reported.

The Lambeth Country Show at Brockwell Park in Brixton, south London, was abandoned after torrential rain.

In Kent, Sittingbourne, Northfleet and Gravesend were among the places flooded. A man was photographed attempting to surf on a street in Kent.

The Met Office said the rain was expected to stop in most places on Monday, leaving a “mainly dry” and “very warm” day with “sunny spells”.

However it cautioned that “scattered heavy showers may develop again late afternoon in the east”.

Temperatures are expected to go above 30C on Wednesday and remain there for up to three days.

And that could lead to further thunderstorms on Wednesday and Thursday, particularly in southern England.

Additional reporting: PA