A major deluge of rain has caused extensive flash flooding in the southeast portion of London and the county of Kent. The rain came down fast and hard. In only about a one-hour time span, the city of London received as much rain as it normally receives during the entire month of May.
Large parts of the city of London were affected by the heavy torrents. Gatwick Airport was forced to cease operations for a time. In parts of southeast London and Kent, railway service was suspended and cancelled as water was covering the railway lines.
Motorists were also affected by the storms. The M2 motorway had sections that were completely submerged. Some cars were flooded as their drivers attempted to cross the flooded roadways. The A429 also experienced significant flooding. At one point in the afternoon, the police in London and Kent were advising drivers to stay home or at work and not attempt to drive unless it was absolutely necessary.
Residents in parts of London were bailing the water out of their flooded houses. At least 30 homes are completely uninhabitable due to the floodwaters in the home being at a level of over two feet. Several businesses in low-lying areas of southeast London were forced to close as they had significant levels of flooding.
The storms that hit the London area didn’t just bring a lot of rain. The lightning with the storms was intense. Several structures were set on fire by the lightning. The London Fire Services received a little over 100 calls related to lightning related fires.
The storms were brief and passed out of the area quickly. The waters are expected to recede quickly. However, for those whose homes experienced significant flooding, clean up will take some time.