James O'Brien 10am - 1pm
Storm Aurore: Roads flooded and cars abandoned after 'biblical' rain strikes UK
21 October 2021, 10:33
Emergency services saw hundreds of calls on Wednesday evening after "biblical" rain left several areas across the country flooded and some drivers trapped inside their vehicles.
Torrential rain and strong winds took over southern England, with Storm Aurore moving in from France.
The worst affected areas saw up to 50mm of rain and 45mph winds, also causing transport delays and power issues.
Essex Fire Service said they received over 120 calls about flood-related incidents up until around 2.30am.
Meanwhile, Devon and Somerset Fire and Rescue Service logged almost 300 calls.
"Please do not drive through flood water. It is dangerous," they tweeted.
"If you do try to do this and get stuck, please get out of the vehicle and arrange for recovery. We do not recover vehicles."
Somerset council said both homes and business had been affected, adding: "We're putting all available resources into dealing with this urgently."
Our teams are on site in Chard dealing with the clear up following flooding last night - homes and businesses have been affected. We're putting all available resources into dealing with this urgently.— Travel Somerset (@TravelSomerset) October 21, 2021
We're aware other areas have been affected across Somerset - more to follow. pic.twitter.com/iWrjbQx8tF
Staff in Wiltshire police's control room described the rain as "biblical", joining other southern counties in warning drivers to be extra careful on the roads.
In Cornwall, four people needed to be rescued after their car became stuck in four feet of water near Wadebridge. Major roads across the area were forced to close but have since reopened as the weather continues to ease.
However, on the M23, flooding led to a serious crash, which shut down the motorway on Wednesday evening. The southbound carriageway has since reopened but continues to suffer delays, along with the M25 in Surrey.
Surrey Police said they were "dealing with multiple collisions and stranded vehicles in flood water".
One driver had flooded their cars engine n the puddle on the A331 in lane 2. The van driver has then aquaplaned in the very same puddle & collided with the car. Sorry to keep repeating our self but drive to the conditions, slow down & increase your stopping distance. #heavyrain pic.twitter.com/fNpq9JjDcF— Roads Policing Unit (RPU) - Surrey Police - UK (@SurreyRoadCops) October 21, 2021
Ahead of Wednesday evening, the Met Office issued an amber weather warning for the southern counties and Channel Islands, warning of what was to come.
It added the unsettled weather was likely to continue for the rest of the week, with showers and breezy conditions across western Scotland and some areas of central and northern England and Wales on Friday.
Forecasters predicted that there could be more persistent rain over the weekend too, with the heaviest rain expected in western Scotland, where 40-60mm could fall in 24 hours.
Northern Ireland, northern England and Wales, could see up to 20mm of rain, while southern and central areas will see light rain.