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Voters warned of flooding as South East deluged with heavy rain

Published 23/06/2016

Travellers have been warned of flooding as a month's rain is expected to fall in a few hours in London and the South East

Voters in London and south-east England will have to brave floods and torrential downpours to cast their ballots in the EU referendum.

The capital is expected to see a month's rainfall in the space of a few hours and a red Met Office weather warning is in place for parts of the country.

There were reports of flooded streets after overnight thunderstorms swept through, threatening disruption as voters head to polling stations.

London Fire Brigade (LFB) said it received hundreds of calls to reports of weather-related incidents, including lightning striking property, flooded homes and businesses, and rising water trapping vehicles.

The Environment Agency has issued four flood warnings covering rivers in Bromley, Sidcup and Basildon, and 22 flood alerts across the South East.

There was major disruption to trains and on the roads, causing problems for thousands of commuters during the morning rush-hour.

A low turnout could play into the hands of the Leave campaign with those favouring Brexit more intent on voting, according to pollsters.

There is better news for voters elsewhere in the UK, with dry, fine and sunny weather predicted for most of the country, while showers are expected in parts of Northern Ireland and Scotland.

Showers are expected to ease by 10am on Thursday morning before returning with similar intensity from 2pm.

The Met Office issued an amber "be prepared" warning of rain for parts of Kent, Sussex and Surrey effective until 6am on Thursday, while a yellow warning covering the South East is in place until 6am on Friday.

Forecaster Luke Miall said: "If you draw a line from The Wash to the Isle of Portland, everything east of that is in the firing line.

"A band of showers is coming across the English Channel and moving north-eastwards; that will bring some heavy downpours and localised surface flooding. There's going to be a bit of hail in there too, so there's quite a lot going on.

"If you're in the South East, you definitely need your umbrella and possibly a pair of Wellington boots."

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