Friday, 22 June 2018
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UK weather – Commuters told to travel ‘as soon as possible’ as torrential rain and storms sweep in triggering ‘danger to …

UK weather – Commuters told to travel ‘as soon as possible’ as torrential rain and storms sweep in triggering ‘danger to …
31 May
4:18

BRITS are battling floods, power cuts and travel chaos as torrential downpours and thunderstorms lashed the country overnight.

Emergency crews were pictured carrying commuters out of railway stations and patrolling local roads in South West England following reports of flooded homes and street power cuts.

 Commuters who arrived at Didcot train station were forced to exit through the floodwater

Twitter / @wilselwood

Commuters who arrived at Didcot train station were forced to exit through the floodwater

A Met Office yellow warning, signalling a potential risk to life, is in force across Wales and South West England.

Met Office forecaster John West warned thunderstorms will turn “lively” as the day progresses.

South Western England is expected to bear the worst of the storms with “frequent lightning and severe thunderstorms”.

At least 20 homes were left without power in Cheltenham from around 11pm on Thursday according to Western Power Distribution.

 Locals took to social media to film rising floodwaters outside their properties

TWITTER/ RTB

Locals took to social media to film rising floodwaters outside their properties
 Heavy rain is lashing the country today - making for a very wet start to June
Heavy rain is lashing the country today – making for a very wet start to June
 A Thames Water van patrols local Oxfordshire roads following torrential downpours

TWITTER/ David England

A Thames Water van patrols local Oxfordshire roads following torrential downpours
 The lightning storm hovering over the country just after midnight

Lightning map

The lightning storm hovering over the country just after midnight

Gloucester roads were closed as passing vehicles pushed floodwater into people’s homes.

Gloucester Police tweeted: “Painswick Road #Gloucester is currently CLOSED from the Cotteswold Road junction to the Askwith Road.

“This is due to flooding – please do not drive around the closures as the wake caused by passing vehicles is pushing water into the homes of residents.”

Further down south in Buckinghamshire, passengers desperate to get home used a nearby fence to get onto platforms, as entrances were flooded.

Commuters at Didcot train station were pictured carrying each other and taking their shoes off as they were forced to leave the station via floodwater.

 Commuters at Didcot train station pictured without shoes as they prepare to walk through floodwater

Twitter / @wilselwood

Commuters at Didcot train station pictured without shoes as they prepare to walk through floodwater

In West Sussex, fire crews pumped water out of flooded businesses and homes in Haywards Heath.

Bedminster Fire Station claimed said at least a foot of water flooded roads in Bishopsworth, Bristol.

Great Western Railway trains which serves southern and western parts of the country said “emergency speed restrictions” are in place due to flash flooding.

Line blockages are expected to affect Friday morning commutes.

Travel chaos spewed onto flights as Ryanair and Easyjet were forced to cancel many journeys because of the thunderstorms.

Easyjet said 48 flights in and out of Gatwick Airport were cancelled, while Ryanair claimed a “small number” were halted.

 Firefighters carrying drenched commuters out of Didcot railway station

TWITTER P4AULT

Firefighters carrying drenched commuters out of Didcot railway station

News of the floods comes hours after commuters were told to get themselves home quickly before thunderstorms expected to lash the country struck on Thursday evening.

 Commuters were told to get home as soon as possible as torrential rain is due to sweep in from the west on Thursday evening

Rex Features

Commuters were told to get home as soon as possible as torrential rain is due to sweep in from the west on Thursday evening
 Cars drive through torrential rain in Chippenham,Wilts., on Thursday as amber weather warnings are issued for the country

Alamy Live News

Cars drive through torrential rain in Chippenham,Wilts., on Thursday as amber weather warnings are issued for the country
 Torrential downpours will hit parts of the UK today - causing flash flooding
Torrential downpours will hit parts of the UK today – causing flash flooding

Forecasters put amber-graded weather warnings for torrential downpours in place for the next two days, with thunderstorms expected until 9pm on Saturday.

Dozens of flood alerts are already in place across the South East with the Met Office warning homes and businesses could be damaged by floodwater and lightning strikes.

The heavy rainfall will outstrip the month’s average in places including Hertford – which generally only sees 60.2mm in May.

Met Office meteorologist Bonnie Diamond told The Sun Online: “There is a risk of torrential rain and downpours that could lead to flash flooding across the southern half of England and much of Wales.

 Brits were hit with torrential rain on the Brighton seafront on Thursday - with the weather conditions predicted to only worsen

Alamy Live News

Brits were hit with torrential rain on the Brighton seafront on Thursday – with the weather conditions predicted to only worsen

“There’s a small probability of 60mm that could lead to flash flooding that could cause difficult driving conditions, road closures and damage to businesses and homes.”

Ms Diamond added: “It’s not impossible that some areas might see their total monthly rainfall in one day but it’s important to remember that all it takes is one very heavy prolonged shower.”

 Visitors to the Bath and West Show in Somerset head for cover as torrential rain strikes the region

Apex News

Visitors to the Bath and West Show in Somerset head for cover as torrential rain strikes the region
 People shelter under umbrellas as they walk past Dorset's Bournemouth beach

PA:Press Association

People shelter under umbrellas as they walk past Dorset’s Bournemouth beach
 People have braved the deluge of rain as they walk through the wet in Bournemouth

Rex Features

People have braved the deluge of rain as they walk through the wet in Bournemouth
 Many were determined to get to the beach despite the wind and rain

Alamy Live News

Many were determined to get to the beach despite the wind and rain
 People walk their dog in the rain on Bournemouth beach in Dorset

PA:Press Association

People walk their dog in the rain on Bournemouth beach in Dorset
 A double decker bus drives through the rain across Waterloo Bridge

Reuters

A double decker bus drives through the rain across Waterloo Bridge

Kate Marks, Environment Agency flood duty manager, said: “Further heavy showers and scattered thunderstorms bring a risk of localised surface water and river flooding on Friday.

“The main risk is for the western counties of England, with urban areas most likely to see the impacts of any flash flooding.”

She said that teams from the agency would work “24/7” to operate flood defences, clear blockages in rivers and streams and supporting partners at any incidents of surface water flooding.

“With heavy rain forecast during rush hour, drivers should stay up to date with the latest weather forecast and travel information before making their journey,” she said.

“We remind people not to drive through flood water as just 30cm can move your car.”

Richard Hancox, duty tactical manager for Natural Resources Wales, asked people to “be alert” for heavy rain in South Wales.

 Torrential rain in Brighton with thunder and lightning also forecast to sweep across the south coast later today

Alamy Live News

Torrential rain in Brighton with thunder and lightning also forecast to sweep across the south coast later today
 People in Brighton were left huddled under their umbrellas as the wet weather hit

Alamy Live News

People in Brighton were left huddled under their umbrellas as the wet weather hit
 Some people look out into the water, perhaps dreaming of a more sunny day

Rex Features

Some people look out into the water, perhaps dreaming of a more sunny day

It comes as leading bookmaker Coral has cut the odds on the UK seeing the hottest June day since records began to 4-1 from 10-1 amid signs of a potential heatwave to come in the next few weeks.

The current record is 35.6C, recorded back in 1976. Coral are offering odds of 2-1 that next month goes on to be the hottest June on record.

Coral’s Harry Aitkenhead said: “Last June we reached well over 30 degrees during a spell of thunderstorms and all the signs are now that we could be set for another wet and wild heatwave this June.

“The records for both the hottest month and the hottest day are both well within the realms of possibility and we’ve cut our odds accordingly.”


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