Friday, July 19

Hospitals hit by flooding in London as thunderstorms strike (video)

Torrential rain has flooded parts of London and the South after thunderstorms struck. Areas including Hackney Wick, Newham and Barking were affected by the downpours, with videos showing cars driving through deep water and people walking nearly knee-deep at times.

Another video showed Pudding Mill Lane DLR station in Stratford under water after heavy rainfall on Sunday. Two hospitals reported issues with their emergency departments due to the weather.

Whipps Cross Hospital in Leytonstone said it was experiencing “operational issues due to the heavy rainfall”, while Newham Hospital said its A&E department had flooded in some areas. A spokesperson for Barts Health NHS Trust said on Sunday evening: “We are experiencing operational issues at Whipps Cross Hospital and Newham Hospital due to the heavy rainfall.

“We are working closely with our local partners to resolve the issues and maintain patient care and – while services remain available for people in an emergency – patients are asked to attend alternative hospitals where they can, to help us put solutions in place as quickly as possible.”

The Met Office issued an amber warning for storms covering London and surrounding counties where homes and businesses are at risk of flooding, which was in place until Sunday evening. The Environment Agency still 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 torrential downpours came after a heatwave earlier this week brought days of record-breaking temperatures. Residents in Woodford were forced to use buckets, brooms and wooden boards to create flood defences and scoop the water from their homes.

The rain brought an end to the heatwave earlier this week, potentially disappointing anyone who hoped for a dry, sunny trip to the coast. The rest of the country was forecast to experience a cloudy, more settled end to the week while sunshine is expected in Scotland. Temperatures are set to rise in most places again on Monday as the storms clear, with the mercury predicted to reach 26C in London, 25C in Edinburgh, 24C in Cardiff, and 22C in Belfast.

Met Office meteorologist Steven Keates warned on Sunday evening that parts of the South between south Suffolk and the Isle of Wight could be deluged by 100mm of rain in just a few hours. He said the storms were being caused by a “convergence” of air currents, due to warmth in the Earth’s surface from the recent heatwave rising into cooler air in the atmosphere.