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Roads flooded in South West as heavy rain and thunderstorms hit parts of UK

The Environment Agency has put out 19 flood alerts in areas of the Midlands and south-east England.

16 August 2022

Roads in areas of Cornwall and Devon have flooded as heavy rain and thunderstorms hit parts of the UK for the second day running.

The Met Office issued a yellow thunderstorm alert for England and Wales on Tuesday, warning of more flash flooding as well as transport disruption and power cuts.

The weather warning will stay in place on Wednesday for southern England, where communities could be cut off by flooded roads, and the chance of fast-flowing or deep floodwater could cause danger to life.

The Environment Agency has put out 19 flood alerts in areas of the Midlands and south-east England.

Weather warning for thunderstorms August 17 2022
(PA Graphics)

It comes amid an abrupt end to the heatwave last week and follows weeks of little rain, which has caused drought and left land parched.

Authorities moved Yorkshire to official drought status on Tuesday, following parts of the South West, southern and central England and the east of England.

Experts said heavy rainfall runs off very dry land, creating surface water floods, and will not soak into the ground to relieve drought-hit areas.

Footage and photos shared to social media show torrential showers and flooding on roads in Cornwall and Devon.

One Twitter user shared a video of floodwater in Newquay, writing: “I’ve never seen rain like this. Our road is flooding #Newquay.”

Another Twitter user in Bishop’s Tawton, north Devon, said: “(F)lash flooding causing use of sandbags to prevent water in house, despite recent flood work by @EnvAgency urgent need for solutions.”

Scotland has also seen travel disruption on rail networks and roads on Tuesday following heavy showers.

ScotRail warned passengers to expect delays on some routes, with some speed restrictions in place, while in Perth, Network Rail said it was dealing with flooding at the station.

Tourists wear rain ponchoes to protect against the wet weather as they walk along Whitehall in Westminster, central London
Tourists walk along Whitehall in Westminster, central London, in the rain (Victoria Jones/PA)

Met Office spokesman Stephen Dixon said: “We have got thundery showers possibly for a lot of peoples of the UK today.

“Within the warning area, it is important to note that thunderstorms could pop up anywhere. That being said, some areas could miss the rain altogether.”

Mr Dixon said parts of the country could see up to 50mm of rain within three hours.

He said storms likely to appear in areas of the Midlands could be “slow moving”, adding: “That risk of thunderstorms will move to southern areas of the UK as the day goes on.”

Mr Dixon said this risk will continue overnight and throughout Wednesday.

“Early on Thursday morning, the main risk that we are looking at is for the South East,” he said.

“The risk then decreases as the day goes on.”

The scene in Stalybridge, Tameside, Greater Manchester, where the body of a 14-year-old girl has been recovered from water after getting into difficulty
The scene in Stalybridge, Tameside, Greater Manchester, where the body of a 14-year-old girl has been recovered from water after getting into difficulty (Steven Allen/PA)

Elsewhere, the body of a teenage girl was found after emergency services were called to Crowswood Road, Stalybridge, west of Manchester, to reports of a person getting into difficulty in water on Monday, Greater Manchester Police said.

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