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London cleans up after flash flooding drenches homes, subway

UPDATED: Mon., July 26, 2021

Associated Press

LONDON — Londoners were cleaning up Monday after torrential rain left homes, roads and several subway stations flooded, the second unseasonal inundation in as many weeks.

The Met Office weather agency said 1.65 inches of rain — almost a month’s worth — fell in central London on Sunday afternoon. Monday was drier, but the Environment Agency said four flood warnings remained in place for southeast England, and the Met Office said parts of England and Scotland could see more thunderstorms over the next few days.

Whipps Cross Hospital in the northeast of the city canceled all planned surgery and outpatient appointments on Monday after basement flooding damaged its electrical systems, and was diverting ambulances to other hospitals nearby.

Eight subway and train stations were closed Sunday because of flooding, including Pudding Mill Lane, an above-ground station where video footage showed water surging through a concourse and up stairs.

Residents used buckets, brooms and wooden boards to create makeshift flood defenses for their homes as storm drains were overloaded in parts of the city.

“Having been born and raised in London, I have never seen anything quite like it,” said south London resident Eddie Elliott. “It stands out as the worst I’ve experienced personally … totally shut down the whole road with buses stood broken down in the water.”

The rain followed a spell of hot, sunny weather that sent Britons to lakes and the sea in search of relief.

Earlier this month a wave of storms caused huge flooding damage and left more than 200 people dead in Germany and Belgium.

London Mayor Sadiq Khan said the city was seeing “increasing incidents of extreme weather events linked to climate change.”

“This is not the first time in recent weeks that London has been hit by major flooding,” he said. “Despite having limited powers in the area, it remains a key priority for myself and London’s council leaders that more is done urgently to tackle flooding and the other impacts of climate change.”

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