UK weather: Devon and Cornwall hit by heavy rain and flooding | UK weather

Flooding has hit parts of the UK as official warnings for rain and thunderstorms remained in place for much of the country with travel disruption expected.

Heavy showers caused flooding in areas of Cornwall and Devon on Monday, which was under an amber-level Met Office warning at the time, while thunderstorms developed in east-coast counties including Essex, Suffolk and Lincolnshire.

The National Flood Forum charity warned the UK was still “reactive and not proactive” about flood risk even though flooding had become a “regular pattern” for the country.

Speaking to Nick Ferrari on LBC, Heather Shepherd, the charity’s flood recovery specialist, said: “Flooding has definitely increased and certainly the length of time that I’ve been working in flood risk, and we see it now as a regular pattern, don’t we, every year.”

However, she added: “I still think we are quite reactive and not proactive. As soon as it’s not in the headlines, flooding, we tend to be a bit too laid back.”

She also warned that “building like mad everywhere” was increasing flood risk, as “a lot of that is on places where water had space and it no longer has. It overwhelms our drainage infrastructure. And we’re seeing more and more urban flooding.”

Yellow warnings for thunderstorms and rain remained across much of the UK on Tuesday and southern England on Wednesday.

The warnings came after a second major heatwave in England and Wales, a phenomenon that will become increasingly frequent due to the affects of climate breakdown.

Hail, frequent lightning and flash flooding are possible in areas further south, with heavy rain predicted across England and Wales on Tuesday.

A cyclist rides through the rain in central London on Monday evening.
A cyclist rides through the rain in central London on Monday evening. Photograph: Andy Rain/EPA

The rain is likely to become more concentrated in southern parts of England.

Downpours are expected across Scotland on Tuesday but will gradually clear as the day goes on, while Northern Ireland will remain fairly dry.

Greg Dewhurst, a Met Office meteorologist, said: “Temperatures will be lower, looking at highs of around 27C as a maximum temperature, but it will still be on the humid side [on Tuesday].

“Thundery showers across central and southern parts of England on Wednesday and temperatures will be around 26C as a maximum.”

Dewhurst warned the bad weather conditions could pose difficulties for those hoping to travel and urged people to stay up to date with developments in their local area.

“We’ll see some very heavy showers develop over the coming days, hail, frequent lightning, some flash flooding is possible like we’ve seen in places today so our advice is to stay tuned to latest forecasts and local radio stations as well, to get the latest information,” he said.

“It is worth being aware that there could be disruptions or delays to travel.”

He added: “It will be in turns fairly breezy as we end the week, with some showery rain, particularly across the north of the UK, so temperatures generally around average for many but could possibly be a bit above for the far south, which is the mid-20s.

“It looks probably most likely from late Wednesday to Thursday onwards it will become fresher for everyone.”

Footage shared on social media showed a roundabout near the river in Truro, Cornwall, flooding rapidly on Monday afternoon as showers moved in.

Ruan Sims, the manager of the HiQ Tyres and Autocare garage on the roundabout, said the road had flooded in the past but he had never seen the water that high.

He said water flooded in suddenly as the rain started but fully drained away about 10 minutes later and the sun came out.

“It was quite mad. We have never seen it go that high,” he said.

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