Flash flooding: Man found dead as downpours cause chaos
A man has died, roads and rail lines have been blocked and thousands left without power as torrential rain flooded parts of the UK.
Two storms, which began in Wales, grew stronger with one heading across the Midlands, the other heading northwards to Newcastle and into Scotland.
The Environment Agency has 10 flood warnings and 47 alerts in place, mainly in the Midlands and northern England.
Both main rail lines between Scotland and England are blocked by landslides.
West Mercia Police say a man who died in flood water in Shropshire is believed to have been in his 60s.
A spokesman said his body was discovered in a stream in Bitterley near Ludlow just before midday following a search.Landslip debris
Rain and floods have affected much of the UK.
- The Scottish Environment Protection Agency has one flood warning in place, for Glen Lyon, in Perth and Kinross, and 12 flood alerts covering many areas
- NI Water says it is on "high alert" to deal with further flooding. It said its staff have been involved in cleaning up 158 properties flooded with sewage
- In north-east England 23,000 properties are without power due to flash flooding and lightning storms, said Northern Powergrid.
North Tyneside Council has dealt with the aftermath of flooding in the area and received more than 200 reports of flood-related incidents.
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A rest centre has opened at The Parks Sports Centre in Howdon Road, North Shields, for residents evacuated from their homes.
And 12 people with learning disabilities have been evacuated from Manor Park Care Home, in Whitley Bay, following flooding. They were relocated to two other homes in the borough.
Northumbria Police have warned motorists stuck in cars as a result of flash flooding to stay with their vehicles unless it becomes unsafe to do so.
Network Rail said its West Coast line was shut at Tebay in Cumbria while the East Coast main line is obstructed at Berwick.
Trains between Crianlarich and Mallaig were suspended after a freight train was derailed on the Scottish west coast line near Tulloch.
One Virgin Trains service from London to Glasgow was stranded in the Lake District for more than two hours between two landslides before being diverted.
It encountered further problems when its front carriages had to be evacuated amid reports of a fire.
Meanwhile, the ScotRail sleeper service, from Fort William to Edinburgh, which was due to run overnight was cancelled.
A Network Rail tweet said it was removing landslip debris and carrying out repairs on the West Coast line, and aimed to reopen by 05:00 BST on Friday.
Thursday's flooding follows downpours in Northern Ireland on Wednesday night where many roads were impassable and about 1,000 homes were left without power at its height.
The first storm started in south Wales at about 08:00 BST, crossing into England 30 minutes later and hitting the central Birmingham area at about 10:00 with up to 45mph winds.
The second weather system came in from north Wales and headed north west, flooding roads and causing chaos across Cumbria, Northumberland, Tyne and Wear and County Durham.
The Tyne and Wear Metro was completely suspended because of flooding and debris on lines in several areas. Meanwhile, the Tyne Tunnel was flooded and closed in both directions.
Earlier, residents in the Felling area of Gateshead were evacuated.
And in Cumbria Environment Agency staff worked to clear river blockages and monitoring levels.
Houses, schools and businesses have been flooded in Barrow-in-Furness, Kendal and the Penrith area.
Staffordshire Fire and Rescue Service has dealt with 170 flood-related calls since 09:15 BST, West Midlands Fire Service dealt with 282 incidents in 90 minutes.Disrupted events
And the fire service in Herefordshire and Worcestershire said it had received more than 150 calls.
Lincolnshire Fire and Rescue Service said it had been called to more than 200 incidents of flooding during the afternoon.
An inch of rain (25mm) fell in parts of Herefordshire, Worcestershire, Warwickshire, Staffordshire, Birmingham and the Black Country, in just two hours.
There were also reports of hailstones the size of golf balls falling in the East Midlands.
Residents in Burbage reported the hailstones damaging greenhouses and vehicles, while deep water has closed part of the Fosse Road North in Leicester and has caused problems on the A50.
The bad weather also disrupted events, forcing play to be suspended for a short time at the Irish Open golf championship in Portrush, in Northern Ireland.
And, in the East Midlands, some Olympic torch bearers taking part in the relay from Lincoln to Nottingham were transported in vehicles because of lightning.
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