Flood warning for south London and commuter towns after epic thunderstorm

Flood warning for south London and commuter towns after epic thunderstorm
Flood warning for south London and commuter towns after epic thunderstorm

Large parts of south-east London and surrounding commuter belt areas are on flood alert after a spectacular overnight storm lit up the sky over the capital.

A live flood map issued by the government showed the warning of floods stretching along the banks of the Thames at Southwark past Greenwich to Erith and the Dartford marshes.

It also extended south taking in Lewisham, Wimbledon, Croydon and Bexley and went as far as West Wickham, Caterham and Swanley.

The warning came after a huge rolling storm hit the south of England bringing thunder, lightning and heavy rain to London overnight and into Thursday.

The Met Office recorded 4,840 lightning strikes across France and southern Britain overnight.

It said “plenty” of heavy rain and thunderstorms moved across southern England and Wales on Wednesday night and the early hours of Thursday morning.

Two buildings in Sussex were damaged by lightning strikes, according to West Sussex Fire & Rescue.

A care home in Elmer was struck with damage to its roof while a university building in Chichester sustained damage to its roof and power system.

The service said no one was injured from the strikes and occupants were relocated to safety while the damage was assessed.

Dylan Reynolds, 56, a property manager, heard thunder in the early hours of the morning and said his lack of sleep is not “ideal” as he needed to vote in the local elections on Thursday morning before heading to work.

Mr Reynolds, from Bow, east London, told the PA news agency: “There was thunder and frequent lightning through the early hours, then at 5.30am the storm broke overhead with an enormous crack and epic rain.

“I don’t imagine many people will have had a lot of sleep, which isn’t ideal as I need to go vote before work.”

Mike Hall, 53, a management consultant from Winchester, Hampshire, told PA he was awakened at night to see a “reasonable-sized” electrical storm.

He said: “It was the middle of the night, and I heard the first rumbles of thunder, so I got up to watch the storm coming closer.

“It was a reasonable-sized electrical storm, pretty fun to watch at half three in the morning. The storm passed right through the city, lots of loud cracks of thunder right after the lightning lit the sky up. “It was really as bright as the video shows it to be.”

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