London flooding: Major incident declared as emergency departments flooded at two hospitals

Heavy rain has caused scenes of chaos across the capital

Oliver O'Connell
Sunday 25 July 2021 20:07

Related Video: Water gushes into London tube station in flash floods

Barts Health NHS Trust has declared a major incident after flash flooding across much of London led to problems at two of its hospitals in the east of the city.

Torrential rain has caused the emergency department at Newham Hospital to flood. A tweet asked patients to “attend a neighbouring hospital if possible”.

The flooding is said to extend to “some areas” of the department, and while the unit remains open for walk-in patients, the hospital needs time to fix things.

Sunday’s thunderstorms have also created problems for Whipps Cross Hospital which is experiencing “operational issues” due to the rain.

The hospital, based in Leytonstone, has also asked patients to seek treatment at a different accident and emergency unit if possible.

A statement from the trust says: “We are experiencing operational issues at Whipps Cross Hospital and Newham Hospital due to the heavy rainfall.”

It continues: “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.”

Intense rainfall has created chaos across the city with eight tube stations closed and countless motorists stranded by floodwater as drainage systems were overwhelmed.

In some areas, drivers were rescued by boat from their half-submerged cars.

The most dramatic footage showed floodwater pouring into a Pudding Mill Lane station near Stratford.

This week’s floods follow high temperatures felt across the UK. England saw a high of 32C during the hottest day of the year so far on Tuesday 20 July, and Northern Ireland had its hottest day since records began when the mercury hit 31.4C.

The thunderstorms spell the end of the hot weather and the beginning of cooler temperatures across the UK.

Southern England will see heavy showers and thunderstorms continuing throughout Sunday, forecasters have said.

The Met Office has issued an amber warning for storms covering London and some of the Home Counties where homes and businesses are at risk of flooding, lasting until 7pm on Sunday.

A yellow warning for storms which could cause travel and power disruption also covers a wider area of the south from Norwich to Plymouth, and lasts until midnight.

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