Belfast Telegraph

Home News UK

Travel chaos as storm ends heatwave

Lightning strikes sparked travel chaos as thunderstorms swept across large parts of England in the wake of the heatwave.

Train services and flight departures were affected as the sunshine was replaced by torrential rain.

The storms followed the hottest day of the year on Monday, with the Environment Agency warning some areas could experience flash flooding.

Lightning struck an air traffic control tower at Gatwick airport in West Sussex, causing departures to be temporarily suspended. No structural damage was caused by the incident, which affected ground-based systems at the airport, one of the busiest in the UK.

Train services were also hit, with lightning strikes affecting signals.

Passengers were warned to expect delays of up to 40 minutes in the Gatwick and Three Bridges areas. Southern said its train services had been disrupted by a lightning strike between Horley and Three Bridges.

There were also delays of up to 90 minutes on services in the Welwyn Garden City and Hertford North areas of Hertfordshire. Trains run by the East Coast, First Capital Connect, First Hull Trains, South West Trains and Grand Central companies were also affected.

Some of the heaviest rainfall was seen in south-east England, with 9mm of rain falling in just one hour in Cavendish, Suffolk. A flood alert is in place for the Thames region and the Environment Agency has warned people in the area to be prepared.

According to MeteoGroup, the weather division of the Press Association, temperatures in London and south-east England are forecast to drop to 20C later this week and 19C elsewhere in the UK.


From Belfast Telegraph