Sat | Oct 23, 2021

London cleans up after flash flooding drenches homes, subway

Published:Monday | July 26, 2021 | 1:09 PM
Two women shelter under an umbrella in Parliament Square in central London, Sunday, July 25, 2021. Thunderstorms bringing lightning and torrential rain to the south are set to continue until Monday. (Victoria Jones/PA via AP)

LONDON (AP) — Londoners were cleaning up Monday after torrential rain left homes, roads and several subway stations flooded, the second unseasonal inundation in as many weeks.

The Met Office weather agency said 1.65 inches of rain — almost a month's worth — fell in central London on Sunday afternoon.

Monday was drier, but the Environment Agency said four flood warnings remained in place for southeast England, and the Met Office said parts of England and Scotland could see more thunderstorms over the next few days.

Whipps Cross Hospital in the northeast of the city cancelled all planned surgeries and outpatient appointments on Monday after a basement flooding damaged its electrical systems and was diverting ambulances to other hospitals nearby.

Eight subway and train stations were closed Sunday because of flooding, including Pudding Mill Lane, an above-ground station where video footage showed water surging through a concourse and up stairs.

Residents used buckets, brooms, and wooden boards to create makeshift flood defences for their homes as storm drains were overloaded in parts of the city.

“Having been born and raised in London, I have never seen anything quite like it,” said south London resident Eddie Elliott.

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

The rain followed a spell of hot, sunny weather that sent Britons to lakes and the sea in search of relief.

Earlier this month, a wave of storms caused huge flooding damage and left more than 200 people dead in Germany and Belgium.

London Mayor Sadiq Khan said the city was seeing “increasing incidents of extreme weather events linked to climate change.”

“This is not the first time in recent weeks that London has been hit by major flooding,” he said.

“Despite having limited powers in the area, it remains a key priority for myself and London's council leaders that more is done urgently to tackle flooding and the other impacts of climate change.”

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