Commuter chaos as thunderstorms and heavy downpours cause travel disruption for thousands

18 September 2023, 10:45

Roads are flooded after a night of thunderstorms
Roads are flooded after a night of thunderstorms. Picture: Social media

By Emma Soteriou

Brits faced rush-hour chaos on Monday morning after thunderstorms and torrential downpours hit the UK.

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Train journeys were disrupted and roads were left flooded on Monday morning after heavy thunderstorms hit south west England overnight.

Parts of the Northern Line were closed, with no service between Stockwell and Morden due to signal failures, causing minor delays on the rest of the line.

Several trains were also cancelled on the circle line, causing minor delays.

The heavy showers come after a short-lived heatwave at the start of the month, when temperatures soared above 30C.

Read more: Rain batters Britain with Exeter Airport flooded and cars submerged after warning half a month's rain may fall in a day

Read more: Liz Truss urges Rishi Sunak to cut taxes, slash benefits and raise the retirement age as she defends record in No10

Drivers deal with wet roads in wake of widespread UK storms

The monsoon-like conditions resulted in two inches of rain falling in just a few hours across the south west.

Exeter airport was forced to close at around 2pm on Sunday after floodwater engulfed the terminal building, causing chaos and grounding flights for the remainder of the day.

It had since reopened, with flights both arriving and departing.

An airport spokesman said on Sunday night: "Following Sunday afternoon's flash flooding, which caused the closure of the airport, our teams are working through the night cleaning up and we expect to be open tomorrow morning, Monday.

"Passengers are advised to check with their airline for the very latest information about their flight, and please bear with us while we do our very best to return all airport operations to normal."

Lightning storm rages over region of England

In other areas of Devon, lightning strikes caused power cuts while landslips caused road closures on the M5.

The extreme conditions come as remnants of Hurricane Lee, which hit north-eastern US with strong winds over the weekend, arrived in the UK.

A yellow weather warning for rain is now in place for Tuesday and Wednesday across Wales and north west England.

The Met Office warned of flooding and power cuts in both areas while the Environment Agency issued 13 flood warnings and 21 alerts for the start of the week.

It comes after two terraced houses in a Dorset village burst into flames in the early hours of Monday after being struck by lightning.

Footage shared online showed the blaze tearing through the properties in Corfe Mullen, near Poole and Bournemouth.

No one was hurt in the fire, but the houses were severely damaged. The fire brigade sent six crews. Firefighters were at the scene for more than five hours until 5.30am.