Houses have flooded, drivers have been forced to abandon their vehicles and transport stations have gone underwater after police declared a major incident in London this afternoon. The torrential downpours came after a heatwave earlier this week brought days of record-breaking temperatures.
Thunderstorms bringing lightning and the threat of flooding to the South are set to continue until Monday, forecasters have warned.
The Met Office issued a yellow warning for thunderstorms across London and the majority of the south coast, in place until midnight tonight.
The forecaster warns sudden floods and spray could lead to difficult driving conditions and flooding of homes and businesses could happen quickly.
London Fire Brigade said it have taken more than 300 calls from those areas concerning flooding on roads and in basements.
Mayor Sadiq Khan tweeted: “Local emergency services … are responding to significant flooding across London.
“If you’re travelling, check your route as multiple TfL bus, tube and rail services are affected.
“Avoid walking or driving through flood water. In an emergency, call 999.”
The Met Office said the storms were being caused by a convergence of air currents as warmth in the Earth’s surface from the recent heatwave rose to meet cooler air in the atmosphere.
Londoner Eddie Elliott cycled past the area outside Queenstown Road station, where he said the road had been “totally shut down”.
He said: “Having been born and raised in London, I have never seen anything quite like it.
“Stands out as the worst I’ve experienced personally… totally shut down the whole road with buses stood broken down in the water.”
Jamie Curtis said the roads near Clapham Common, in the south, were blocked due to floodwater which was “12 to 18 inches deep”.
He added: “I’ve not seen that level of flooding in London before.”