Flood alerts issued after 40mm worth of rainfall drops in an hour amid storms

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Flood alerts have been issued as thunderstorms and severe weather lash Brits, including a 'tornado' freak weather turn in London.

The Environmental Agency issued warnings for several areas, including the Tidal Thames riverside near Putney Bridge in London, Birmingham, and north Devon.

The Met Office also warned of thunderstorms for Friday night as the severe downpours drenched Brits in Essex and London, with Barking and Dagenham, Brentwood, and east London worst affected.

The yellow weather warning ended last night but photos of the intense flash floods show a high level of rainfall in a short space of time.

Those waking up in Shropshire, Essex, Thurrock, Worcestershire, Warwickshire, Telford and Wrekin, and London may see excess water.

Rivers in these areas may also be at risk of having their banks break with the extra rainfall, and residents should prepare for the worse if they experienced flash flooding last night.

The Environmental Agency still has 9 flood alerts in place.

Homes were damaged amid reports of a 'torando' sparking havoc in London last night, after clips on social media show collapsed garden walls and bricks were strewn across driveways and the street.

Fallen tree branches were scattered across the road in Barking.

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The Met Office said it is "probably" a brief tornado did occur.

Police confirmed they were called to reports roof damage as well as issues with vehicles and electrical equipment at around 7.20pm.

The Metropolitan Police's Barking and Dagenham Twitter account said: "This is a weather-related incident, during which there was a lightning strike.

"In addition to the lightning strike, we have seen reports of a tornado but cannot confirm this.

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"There are no reports of any casualties. Officers are liaising with the local authority to ensure support is available to anyone affected by damage to property."

Barking and Dagenham Council tweeted: "We're aware of the severe weather damage in the Barking area and our immediate response team along with the police and fire brigade are on hand sorting any issues."

A series of conditions are needed to create a tornado, including a funnel of cloud that reaches the ground.

Matthew Box, Met Office forecaster, told the PA news agency: "The associated thunderstorms produced some very heavy and impactful rain over parts of north and east London and Essex which did result in flooding and travel disruption."

"Some places are likely to have seen more than 40mm of rainfall in an hour.

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Mr Box added that none of the Met Office's sites recorded the wind associated with the event, mainly because "it was on a small scale relatively speaking".

He said: "For those affected, there were very damaging winds."

For the weekend, cloud with little drizzle is expected for most of Scotland and Northern Ireland for Saturday.

Sunny spells are forecast for many with few showers across the UK.

The weather is set to look a lot brighter over the coming days, with warmer and sunny conditions on Sunday, with thundery showers isolated in the far south for Sunday to Tuesday.

  • Met Office
  • London
  • Weather Forecast
  • UK Weather

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