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More storms on the way in UK after almost a month’s rain falls on London in a day

One hospital had to cancel all planned surgery and outpatient appointments due to flooding.

A car drives through flood water in Horse Guards Road in central London
A car drives through flood water in Horse Guards Road in central London
Image: Victoria Jones/PA Images

Updated Jul 26th 2021, 1:30 PM

THERE ARE MORE thunderstorms on the way in the UK after it was battered with almost a month’s worth of rain in a day.

The Met Office has issued yellow warnings for thunderstorms and rain in England and Scotland for the next four days possibly causing more flooding and transport disruption.

The new warnings come as homes, roads and Tube stations were flooded in the south of England, while two London hospitals have asked patients to stay away due to the heavy rain.

The basement at Whipps Cross Hospital in east London was flooded, causing damage to the electrical system and a loss of power.

The hospital said it was “experiencing operational issues” and asked patients to use an alternative A&E “if possible”.

A major incident was called across Barts Health NHS Trust, with staff moving around 100 inpatients from affected wards, including to other hospitals within the Barts Health group.

Ambulances are currently being diverted to other hospital emergency departments to relieve the pressure on Whipps Cross.

A spokeswoman for Barts Health NHS Trust said: “We are continuing to experience operational issues at Whipps Cross Hospital due to the heavy rainfall yesterday.

“We cancelled all planned surgery and outpatient appointments for today, and are diverting ambulances while we work hard to clean up affected areas of the hospital.”

The Environment Agency has six flood warnings in place across the country’s southeast, while there are 19 alerts for potential flooding active throughout England and Wales.

The wettest part of the country yesterday was St James’s Park in London, where 41.6mm of rain fell.

The average rainfall for July in London is 45mm, so almost a month’s worth of rain fell in one 24-hour period.

The daily rainfall value of 41.8mm recorded at St James’s park is that weather station’s second-wettest July day on record.

summer-weather-july-25th-2021 A woman walks through a flooded path in St James's Park in London. Source: Victoria Jones/PA Images

Residents in north-east London used buckets, brooms and wooden boards to create makeshift flood defences for their homes, while water gushing from an Underground station was caught on video.

‘Totally shut down’

Restaurant manager Mariya Peeva, who lives in Woodford, said her neighbour’s bedroom was flooded, and her son worked with other residents to prevent the rising rainwater from deluging their home.

Peeva, 46, said: “My son went to buy some food from the local shop – by the time he came back the whole street and the pavement were already flooded and the water was coming into our front door.”

Londoner Eddie Elliott, 28, said the flooding was the worst he had ever seen it, after he cycled past Queenstown Road station where the road had been “totally shut down”.

He said: “Having been born and raised in London, I have never seen anything quite like it.

“It stands out as the worst I’ve experienced personally … totally shut down the whole road with buses stood broken down in the water.”

London Fire Brigade said that they had taken over 1,000 calls to flooding incidents since the early hours of this morning. 

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In a tweet, they thanked their 999 Control Officers as well as crews who had “rescued people from cars, assisted people from their homes and protected properties from flood water.”

Standon Calling festival in Hertfordshire was also cancelled due to the floods.

A yellow thunderstorm warning is in place for parts of Kent and Sussex between 10am and 5pm on Monday while another yellow storm warning has been issued for much of the Midlands and northern England between 9am on Tuesday and 6am on Wednesday.

Meanwhile, a yellow thunderstorm warning is in place for most of Scotland for 12 hours from noon on Tuesday, while yellow rain warnings also follow for all of Wednesday and the early hours of Thursday morning.

The rain brought an end to the heatwave earlier this week, but temperatures are set to rise in most places again on Monday as the storms clear, with the mercury predicted to reach 26 degrees in London, 25 degrees in Edinburgh, 24 degrees in Cardiff, and 22 degrees in Belfast.

A Met Office spokesman said: “Going forward, there’s some more thunderstorms and intense downpours in the forecast, with a yellow weather warning for thunderstorms currently active until 5pm today in the far South East.

They also said an official study would have to be completed before any connections to the weekend’s weather can be linked to climate change, but added that the science indicates that warmer air can hold more water, so rainfall is increasing on average across the world.

Greenpeace UK’s policy director Doug Parr said that governments are still not doing enough to tackle climate change “despite decades of warnings.”

“Extreme weather of the kind being experienced across the world this summer will only increase in the UK, in both frequency and intensity, unless action is taken to curb emissions,” he said. 

With reporting from Jane Moore.

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