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Storm Aurore: Flooding across South-East England causes commuter chaos

·3-min read
Storm Aurore: Flooding across South-East England causes commuter chaos

Emergency services have received a high number of calls from people reporting flooding after southern England was hit overnight by heavy rain and strong winds from a storm moving in from France.

The Met Office issued a yellow rain warning covering most of southern England for Wednesday night and into Thursday as a low-pressure system named Storm Aurore moved in from France, bringing up to 50mm of rain and 45mph winds in the worst affected areas.

Essex Fire Service said they had received more than 120 calls up till 2.30am regarding flood-related incidents.

A section of the M23 between Crawley and Pease Pottage was closed due to flooding for a time.

Meanwhile, footage posted on social media showed heavy flooding on the carriageway by the A41 in Hendon on Wednesday night. A clip shows a black taxi and other cars wading through a deep pool of water on the left carriage lane.

Forecasters at BBC Weather said that more than 50mm of rain fell in parts of Southern England in 24 hours on Wednesday.

Thameslink said its trains would temporarily not be calling at Northfleet station on Wednesday morning as a result of the flooding. Passengers were advised to circulate via Dartford to complete their journey.

Police officers in Sutton issued an urgent warning to drivers to avoid roads in the area, as pictures showed a bus struggling to battle through the floods.

Londoners complained of “terrifying” journeys home on Wednesday night.

One person tweeted: “The rain tonight coming back from London was the worst I’ve seen in a long time. Loads of deep flooding from Hammersmith through to the M3.”

Another wrote: “Terrifying drive home from West London to Rochester, Medway. Torrential rain all the way with flooding and stranded vehicles along the route. Still raining...”

The Met Office issued yellow rain warnings for the southern counties and Channel Islands until 3am on Thursday, but said the most severe impact of the storm would be over northern France.

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 predict there to be more persistent rain over the weekend, 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.

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