England

Warnings as flood risk remains in Kent and South East

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Media captionProperties were evacuated and roads flooded in Kent

Motorists are being warned not to drive through flood water after thunderstorms and torrential rain brought parts of Kent and London to a standstill.

The Environment Agency has said further rainfall over the next few days could lead to more localised flooding.

The warning comes after south-east England received a month's worth of rain in a few hours on Tuesday.

Some roads remain closed due to the flooding, fallen trees and sewage overflow.

Image caption Parts of Chatham remain underwater

A spokesman for the Environment Agency said: "We remind people not to drive through flood water as just 30cm can move your car, and to check our active alerts and warnings - which are updated every 15 minutes - online.

"Our teams remain out on the ground, checking and operating defences and we are ready to support local authorities in responding to surface-water flooding."

Image copyright Helen Whately
Image caption Helen Whately MP tweeted the clear-up was getting under way

London Fire Brigade confirmed it received more than 100 flood-related calls on Tuesday.

Some train services were cancelled as railway lines were submerged and a number of flights from Gatwick Airport were also affected.

Almost the entire May average of 50mm (2in) of rain fell in a matter of hours.

A spokesman for Kent Highways said teams were still out working to clear flood water from roads on Wednesday.

The worst problems were in Maidstone, Gravesham and Swale, in the north-east of the county.

In Medway, Veolia is working to clear debris from roads around Walderslade.

Capstone Road remains closed and Medway Council is liaising with Southern Water about repairs.

Officials from Medway Council and two housing associations have also visited flood-hit Nelson Terrace in Chatham to help where needed.

Image caption Downpours could continue over the next few days

Helen Whately, MP for Faversham and Mid Kent, was among those whose homes were flooded.

She tweeted: "Now the clear up begins. If you're waiting for a letter from me and it's a bit delayed, I am sorry! #flooding."

In Chatham, Geoff Ponds, 78, said: "I have lost an awful lot, which I can't replace, because it's gone."

Image caption Flood victim Geoff Ponds said he had lost "an awful lot"
Image caption Chatham resident June Wise said water was "oozing out of everything"

June Wise, 82, from Chatham, said she was "desperate for help".

"Water was oozing out of everything and flooding around the house from beginning to end. The bed is soaked, the settees are soaked. I cannot sit on them. I can't even go to bed.

"I just couldn't believe it, it's devastating. I really don't know what I'm going to do."

Image copyright Simon Moores
Image caption Stretches of the M2 were closed to due the flooding
Image copyright Kent Highways
Image caption Traffic was unable to switch between the M2 and M20 after a stretch of the A249 at Stockbury was closed

Stretches of the M2 - a key route from London towards the Kent coast - were also closed while the emergency services and Highways England cleared flood water from the carriageways.

London was also badly hit with about 30 houses flooded by up to 25in (64cm) of water in Erith, south-east London.

Four people were also rescued from their cars in Stratford, in the east of the city.

Two fires in north and west London, believed to have been caused by lightning, were among more than 100 calls the fire service received during the day.

BBC weather presenter Nina Ridge said there "could still be heavy, thundery downpours in the morning and for the next few days."

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