Post-heatwave storm brings flash floods causing widespread disruption

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Media caption,

Streets were submerged and some homes were left without power

Flash flooding has caused travel chaos in parts of England as thunderstorms dumped almost half a month's rain in some parts within hours.

A train from Milton Keynes to Euston derailed in a landslip near Watford Junction, injuring two people.

The worst-hit areas are across the east, south and south-east of England, with disruption due to continue into the weekend.

Roads, homes and a hospital are flooded and lightning has damaged buildings.

For key updates see BBC Weather and BBC Travel.

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Flooding blocked access to the railways station's platforms

Image source, Felicity Baker
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Felicity Baker tweeted pictures of flooding in Hertfordshire

The disruption includes:

Image source, Ben Thompson
Image caption,
The severe weather has brought an abrupt end to the recent heatwave

'Major disruption'

Network Rail said CrossCountry, Great Western Railway and South West Trains were all affected with severe delays on dozens of services.

London Midland said the derailment had a knock-on effect on it trains, with hours of delays expected to last throughout the day and into the weekend.

Media caption,

A train derailment will cause hours of disruption, says London Midland trains.

Councils were working with emergency services to minimise disruption in areas of flash flooding, said Martin Tett at the Local Government Agency.

"The lack of warning and intensity of flash foods makes them very difficult to guard against," he said.

Image source, Dorset Fire and Rescue Service
Image caption,
A house was hit by lightning in Christchurch but the couple inside managed to get out safely, said Dorset Fire and Rescue Service
Image source, Robin Purser
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Lightning lit up the skyline in Newcastle

Thames Valley Fire Control said it had received "an enormous number of calls" since 18.00 BST on Thursday for Berkshire alone.

"There were a total of 174 calls which resulting in 158 incidents, 47 of which were flood related," a spokesman said.

'My mum panicked'

Image caption,
Mashood Shah piled up possessions as water flooded into his home

Mashood Shah, who lives at Walton Terrace in Woking, is one of hundreds of people across the country whose homes have flooded.

He described the moment water came pouring under his front door around midnight.

"My mum just said 'the water's all coming in' she was panicking. I had my wellington boots by the bed.

"I put them on and I came rushing down. I told my little brother 'stay up there, I will pass you everything'.

"The water came nearly to the top of my wellington boots."

Image caption,
Beryl Baker's house was being renovated when the flooding damaged newly plastered walls and new kitchen units

Neighbour Beryl Baker said she had been flooded 11 times in the 66 years she had lived in her home.

The 84-year-old said there was faeces coming up through drains inside her bathroom.

"It's terrible, really terrible," she said. "I think it's awful that you've got to put up with this in this day and age. Especially at my age."

Met Office meteorologist Martin Combe said 32.8mm of rain had fallen in just three hours in Farnborough, Hampshire - nearly half the 70mm average for September.

The rain has been moving steadily east, and is expected to clear East Anglia by Friday evening.