Flooding causes commuter chaos as Tube station forced to close after torrential downpours

24 August 2022, 18:36 | Updated: 25 August 2022, 12:07

Downpours affect areas all across the UK

By Megan Hinton

Flooding has caused commuter chaos after a Tube station was forced to close over torrential rain and several others were partially closed.

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Dagenham Heathway Underground station was closed from as early as 6am on Thursday morning "due to heavy flooding" while exits one and two were also shut at Charing Cross.

Later in the morning, Paddington station was restricted to exit only from the Bakerloo line due to flooding and Tooting Bec was closed on the northbound.

The Environment Agency issued six alerts for areas where "flooding is possible", with Andrewsfield in Essex already having reported 1.43 inches (36.4mm) of rain in the early hours of Thursday.

It came after the Met Office warned that parts of England would be hit by thunderstorms and heavy rain.

A yellow warning was issued from midnight until 3pm for south and eastern England.

The official warning stated: "Outbreaks of heavy, thundery rain are likely to develop and move across east and southeast England from the early hours of Thursday.

"10-20 mm of rain is likely over quite a large area but with some embedded thunderstorms some sites are likely to see 30 to 40 mm in 2-3 hours and perhaps 50 mm or more over 6 hours.

"Lightning will be an additional hazard. The area of rain is expected to ease from the southwest before clearing into the North Sea during Thursday afternoon."

Read more: Bank Holiday bus strike to clash with London's Notting Hill Carnival as revellers warned of delays

Weather experts warned: "There is a good chance driving conditions will be affected by spray, standing water and or hail, leading to longer journey times by car and bus."

In addition, residents were told that the weather could cause delays to train services, short term loss of power, damage to a few buildings and structures from lightning strikes and the risk of some flooding of a few homes and businesses.

The ongoing dry weather has seen drought declared across swathes of England, with parched grass and struggling crops, streams drying up and river, reservoir and aquifer levels low, and hosepipe bans brought in for millions as heatwaves pushed up demand for water.

But despite the forecast downpours, the bank holiday is expected to be largely dry with warm sunny spells, though possibly wetter in the North West.

Read more: AA issues amber traffic warning ahead of 'last hurrah' bank holiday weekend

Temperatures could climb to 30C or into the mid-20s depending on how the high pressure builds, the Met Office said.

Spokesman Grahame Madge said: "We've definitely switched from the hot and dry regime to something that has rain in the forecast.

"There's some heavy rain for the next 24 to 36 hours, providing some relief to gardeners more than helping to top up long-term resources."

While the forecast rain for this week will mean this month will "catch up a bit" with rainfall totals, he said: "It's certainly going to be a dry August for the whole of the UK."

And he said some areas had gone without any significant rainfall from the middle of June until last week.

"We've had below average rainfall for such a long time, it's going to take a period of above average rain to make it up," he warned.

Whether that period of above average rainfall is looming remains to be seen, with the Met Office set to bring out its seasonal forecast for the likely conditions over the next few months next week.

It is possible for the weather to turn around: the severely dry summer of 1976 was followed by rain that meant that rainfall levels had caught up with the average by the end of autumn.

But scientists warn that climate change is making weather extremes more likely, increasing heatwaves, droughts and heavy rain events that can lead to flash floods.

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