Storms batter Britain: A&E floods and M1 plunged into chaos as UK hit with torrential downpours

12 June 2023, 21:48 | Updated: 12 June 2023, 21:49

Thunderstorms and heavy downpours have hit parts of the UK
Thunderstorms and heavy downpours have hit parts of the UK. Picture: social media
Kieran Kelly

By Kieran Kelly

Parts of the UK have been plunged into chaos this evening due to heavy rainfall, with the A&E department in Luton issuing a patient notice due to flooding.

Listen to this article

Loading audio...

Patients were urged to stay away from the A&E department unless they were attending for life threatening illnesses or injuries after it was hit by flash flooding.

Meanwhile, drivers on the M1 were also heavily affected by heavy rainfall this evening, with water pouring from the motorway bridge onto people's cars.

It comes amid warnings that flash flooding and thunderstorms are set to continue, with more thunderstorms to hit parts of the UK as temperatures continue to soar.

Listen and subscribe to Unprecedented: Inside Downing Street on Global Player

The Met Office upgraded its warning for thunderstorms to amber on Monday afternoon, with warnings of flooding and power cuts.

The Environment Agency also issued 14 flood alerts across the Midlands ahead of the thundery showers over concerns they could produce of large amounts of surface water.

A yellow warning was also issued as torrential downpours are set to hit across Northern Ireland and Scotland between 12pm and 9pm on Tuesday.

Grahame Madge, a meteorologist at the Met Office, said it is difficult to predict exactly where thunderstorms might hit, and that people within areas likely to be affected should prepare for any sudden weather changes.

Mr Madge said: "Within these areas we can expect heavy rain, possibly hail, potentially frequent lightning.

"Just because you're within that warning area, it doesn't mean that you're guaranteed to see a storm or even hear one. By their nature, they develop quickly and in almost seemingly random areas."

He added: "Within the area we are advising that people might want to think about how suddenly they can be subjected to flash flooding or a power cut. Are people prepared? Make sure mobile phones are charged and that sort of thing.

"Because when you get these storms they can change your circumstances quite dramatically within almost a matter of minutes."

Mr Madge said that heat rising from freshly ploughed fields or over a city area could trigger thunderstorms even when nearby areas remain dry.

Read more: Fury as holidays ruined for 15,000 Easyjet passengers, as airline axes more than 100 Gatwick flights amid stormy weather

Read more: Killed while on the swings with her sister: British girl, 11, shot dead and parents wounded in row over land in France

Holidays have also been ruined amid the stormy weather, with more than 100 Gatwick flights cancelled.

Easyjet cancelled 54 flights taking off and landing from Gatwick on Sunday, and 55 more on Monday - meaning about 15,000 people were left grounded.

Passengers were told that they would not be getting compensation as the cancellations were outside of the airline's control.

But it does have to offer them alternative flight options as well as overnight accommodation if needed.

Further thunderstorms may be on the way in the first half of the week, with fresher conditions and temperatures set to decrease towards Thursday and Friday.

However, the sunny weather is staying with most parts of the country forecast to remain above 24 and 25C throughout the week, and temperatures potentially reaching 29C in Bristol and Birmingham over Wednesday and Thursday.

Cooler air from the North Sea will reach parts of the UK on Thursday and Friday, particularly areas along the North Sea coast and the East of England.

More Latest News

See more More Latest News

England fans have packed out pubs and bars across the country ahead of a clash with Slovenia in Euro 2024.

England fans pack out pubs and bars ahead of Euros clash with Slovenia

Breaking
Four men have been arrested at the Prime Minister's North Yorkshire home on suspicion of aggravated trespass.

Four men arrested at Rishi Sunak’s North Yorkshire home on suspicion of aggravated trespass

Sir Ed Davey says Putin apologists 'need to be exposed' as he takes aim at former coalition government

Ed Davey says Putin apologists 'need to be exposed' as he takes aim at former coalition government

Ed Davey has said that it 'genuinely' hasn't crossed his mind that he might be the future leader of the opposition.

Ed Davey tells LBC he doesn’t see himself as future leader of opposition as he says focus is on ‘beating Tory MPs’

Labour candidate Kevin Craig is running to become an MP in the Central Suffolk and North Ipswich

Labour candidate suspended for betting against himself says he did it for 'fun' as he issues apology

The teenager's account was 'accessed and active', a friend of Jay reportedly said.

Jay Slater’s Instagram account ‘mysteriously active’ amid ongoing search for missing teenager in Tenerife

Labour candidate Kevin Craig is running to become an MP in the Central Suffolk and North Ipswich

Labour candidate suspended for 'betting against himself' as Gambling Commission launches probe

Celine Dion's diagnosis was featured as part of Amazon Prime series I Am Celine Dion. Images Courtesy of Amazon MGM Studios © Amazon Content Services LLC

Céline Dion shares harrowing footage of ten minute 'crisis' seizure following Stiff Person's Syndrome diagnosis

David Larkin was found while police searched for Jay Slater.

Pictured: British hiker, 51, who was 'rescued' during search for missing Jay Slater as he insists he 'didn't need help'

Exclusive
A busy hospital with staff busy at work in an accident and emergency ward in a British hospital

'Cut-price doctor' physician associates and anaesthesia associates acting illegally in one in eight NHS trusts

Sir Keir Starmer has made it his ‘moral mission’ to reduce knife crime

Keir Starmer pledges to ban zombie knives within six months of Labour government

Gavin Plumb is accused of plotting to murder Holly Willoughby

Security guard accused of Holly Willoughby murder plot said he would 'make TV star let him do what he pleased'

Craig Williams said he 'committed an error of judgement, not an offence'. He was dumped by Rishi Sunak along with Laura Saunders (inset)

Candidate at centre of the General Election betting scandal breaks silence after being dropped by Tories

Hungary's Barnabas Varga pictured for the first time after suffering horror head injury against Scotland

Hungary's Barnabas Varga pictured for the first time after suffering horror head injury against Scotland

Govia Thameslink Railway has put the bins in almost 500 men's toilets

Train firm puts sanitary bins in men’s lavatories to combat 'taboo' of incontinence

Princess Anne's husband Sir Tim Laurence has visited her in hospital after she was kicked in the head

Princess Anne's husband gives health update after she was kicked in the head by a horse and given concussion