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Chaos as 'zombie apocalypse' hits south of England.

Byline: David Mercer & Ben Mitchell PA Reporter newsdesk@coventrytelegraph.net

HAIL and thunderstorms described as a "zombie apocalypse" have brought flash flooding and travel disruption to parts of Britain.

The Met Office issued a severe weather warning yesterday for the south-east of England as more than half a month's worth of rain fell in an hour in some places.

Forecasters warned that a "deeply unstable airmass" had brought the risk of heavy thundery showers across East Anglia, the South East and London throughout the day.

A lightning strike sparked disruption for rail passengers during the morning rush hour, while fire-fighters rescued people from homes and cars hit by floods.

The lightning hit an electricity sub-station near Hove in Sussex, causing power to the coastal rail route to be cut, according to a Network Rail (NR) spokeswoman. It caused delays to journeys between Worthing and Hove and Brighton. Meanwhile, trains were not calling at Worthing station in the Hove direction due to flooding in a subway.

London Fire Brigade rescued two women from a car which got stuck in flood water near South Ruislip station, north-west London.

Essex Fire and Rescue Service said it had dealt with 20 incidents in Thaxted, Essex, following flash flooding.

Firefighters rescued five people from three neighbouring houses which were flooded, while a road in the town collapsed from the heavy rainfall, it said.

Morning commuters posted descriptions on Twitter of heavy hail and localised flooding caused by the storms.

Laurence Hill wrote: "Used to be roads. Now rivers of hail. Never seen anything like it."

Brighton and Hove Police posted: "Localised flooding in Hove and Portslade, some roads not passable. Please do not enter flood water on foot or in cars."

Brighton station tweeted: "At a stand west coastway PSWorthing PSBrighton Both ways due to zombie apocalypse."

A Southern Water spokeswoman said: "Torrential rain fell across Sussex this morning which has led to parts of our sewer network becoming overwhelmed by the sheer volume of water entering it.

"We are doing all we can to help customers affected by this."

Brighton and Hove City Council's headquarters also had to close after the basement flooded due to the heavy rain.

Up to 43mm (1.7in) of rain - more than half the average monthly total for England in July - fell in an hour in part of Suffolk this morning, a spokeswoman said.

CAPTION(S):

Commuters are hit by flooding in Worthing while three daredevils go for a run in Brighton

Lightning strikes in Hove, hitting an electricity sub-station

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Publication:Coventry Evening Telegraph (England)
Geographic Code:4EUUK
Date:Jul 29, 2014
Words:421
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