Flash flooding as downpours drench UK

Heavy downpours have brought flash flooding across the UK and left residents trapped in their homes on the Isle of Man.

Thunderstorms swept across London, the south of England, Wales and the Midlands on Tuesday, with some areas hit by a week's rain in just an hour.

And forecasters warned that a day's respite from the rain on Wednesday will be shortlived as the remnants of Hurricane Lorenzo – the most powerful ever recorded in the far east Atlantic – track over the UK on Thursday and Friday.

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Torrential rain brings flash floods
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Torrential rain brings flash floods
In Pictures: Torrential rain brings flash floods
In Pictures: Torrential rain brings flash floods
In Pictures: Torrential rain brings flash floods
In Pictures: Torrential rain brings flash floods
In Pictures: Torrential rain brings flash floods
In Pictures: Torrential rain brings flash floods
In Pictures: Torrential rain brings flash floods
In Pictures: Torrential rain brings flash floods
In Pictures: Torrential rain brings flash floods
In Pictures: Torrential rain brings flash floods
In Pictures: Torrential rain brings flash floods
In Pictures: Torrential rain brings flash floods
In Pictures: Torrential rain brings flash floods
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By late afternoon on Tuesday, the Met Office said Pennerley in Shropshire had the highest hourly rainfall total with 25.6mm (1in).

That part of the UK normally averages around 96mm (3.8in) in the whole of October.

The second highest total was at Coton in the Elms in Derbyshire, with 11.6mm (0.46in).

But a Met Office spokeswoman said the thundery downpours were so localised that it was likely higher totals fell in areas not covered by a weather station.

Reports of flash flooding included on the M42 motorway at Coleshill in Warwickshire.

Further north, train services continued to be affected after days of heavy rain and a major incident was declared on the Isle of Man after a river burst its banks in the village of Laxey, trapping people in houses and washing away cars.

A helicopter was brought in on standby to help people trapped close to the Laxey River in what one local called "horrendous conditions".

Police called on people not to travel on the island as flooding and a landslide affected roads and two schools were closed.

The Met Office issued a yellow weather warning for Wales, southern England, East Anglia and the Midlands between 6am and 8pm on Tuesday for heavy showers and disruption caused by flooding.

Meteorologists have said the slow-moving clouds on Tuesday could bring rainfall totals of as much as 1.6in to 2in (40mm to 50mm) in a couple of hours in some places.

Met Office spokesman Grahame Madge said: "This could lead to the potential for flash flooding quite quickly."

Mr Madge said the heavy downpours will die out on Tuesday night, when a ridge of high pressure will see plummeting temperatures with the potential for a grass frost in some northern areas.

But he said a day of fine weather on Wednesday will then give way to further wind and rain as what is left of Hurricane Lorenzo – currently threatening the Azores – lashes the UK from later on Thursday.

At 4.30pm on Tuesday, there were 31 flood warnings and 151 flood alerts in force.

Northern Rail said the Maryport to Carlisle line was badly affected, with replacement bus services operating in some sections.

It added that the line was blocked between Hexham and Carlisle following a reported landslip at Wetherall.

There has also been flooding at Thackley, between Leeds and Carlisle.

A spokesman said: "Heavy rain and flooding is, again, impacting Northern's ability to operate services this morning.

"Delays and short-notice cancellations are likely across the region as rain continues to fall on already soaked ground."

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