Heavy rain and flooding have hit parts of Devon and Cornwall as thunderstorms begin to push across South West and East England.
Videos shared on social media showed a roundabout near a river in Truro, Cornwallrapid flooding as the showers moved in.
A yellow thunderstorm warning has been issued by the Met Office for the county, as well as Devon and Somerset, with the chance of homes and businesses being flooded as likely.
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Residents have also been warned that there could be power outages, fast-flowing or deep floodwaters causing life-threatening conditions, transport disruptions and communities cut off due to flooded roads.
One man, Ruan Sims, said the water level was the highest he had ever seen in Cornwall.
“It was pretty mad. We’ve never seen it go that high,” the garage boss said.
– It didn’t go into the garage, but it came all the way up to the wall.
He added that the water suddenly flooded in when the rain started, but that it was completely drained away about 10 minutes later.
Yellow warnings for thunderstorms in place
There have been yellow thunderstorm warnings issued for most of the UK Tuesday and for southern England on Wednesday.
Storms have already developed in east coast counties such as Essex, Suffolk and Lincolnshire.
“There have been areas of the country that have mainly seen the heavy showers today, south west England,” said Meteorologist Tom Morgan.
“We have seen some flooding in parts of Cornwall and Devon,” he continued, adding that there had been “very difficult driving conditions, flooding, some hail with thunder and some lightning”.
“There is as much potential for tomorrow to be as impactful as today has been,” he said.
Inverness in Scotland was hit by heavy rain on Sunday, with footage and photos shared online showing water seeping through the roof of a cinema and flooding a Tesco store.
“Prepare for floods”
In London, residents have been told to prepare for flooding in the event of heavy downpours.
Mayor of London Sadiq Khan said he had written to “tens of thousands” of households living in homes that could be affected.
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“We learned a lot from last year in July when there was flooding caused by a huge amount of rain – two months of rain – in just a couple of hours and people’s homes businesses and public transport were flooded,” he said.
“We are concerned that over the next few days we could see a huge amount of rain in a short period of time which could lead to flooding.”
Last year there were several train and subway stations forced to close due to heavy rainfall.
Weeks of high temperatures and dry conditions
It comes after weeks of little rain and high temperatures caused drought over several parts of the country.
As a result of the dry ground, experts have warned that the likelihood of flooding is higher as surfaces appear “a bit like concrete” and water runs off rather than seeping through.
“There’s the damage to homes and businesses these floods can cause, and the inconvenience of transport disruption, but if it’s very heavy in one place, it can also be very dangerous,” said Professor Hannah Cloke, an expert in hydrology at the University of Reading.
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On how it could affect cities and towns, she said: “If you get a heavy rain in a city, the drainage system can cope up to a point, but if it’s really heavy rain it can overwhelm the system – the rain can’t run away fast enough .”
On Friday, the National Drought Group moved parts of the South West, parts of South and Central England and all of East England into official drought status, while six water companies announced snake ban.