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Roads swamped, cars abandoned and shops evacuated in floods

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Torrential rain brought chaos to the the West Midlands on Wednesday as downpours caused flash floods across the region.

Nearly 450 calls were handled by Staffordshire and West Midlands Fire and Rescue Service between 4.30pm and 7pm after rain started falling at around 3pm.

Many people were left stranded in their cars, homes were flooded in Wolverhampton and Smethwick while a wall collapsed in Haden Cross.

Shoppers faced a drenching as water poured through the roof of a Wolverhampton shopping centre and on Thursday ten schools were fully or partially closed as a result of the flooding.

Security staff at the Wulfrun Centre evacuated customers and staff at around 3.30pm on Wednesday, leaving people to gather outside nearby shops in a bid to find shelter.

Shopper Dennis Leary, from Wednesfield, said: "There's water everywhere in there, an awful lot of it. I don't think anyone will be going back in there any time soon."

  • MORE: Flooding hits the West Midlands - Your PICTURES and VIDEO
  • MORE: Schools closed in wake of heavy rain
  • MORE: Watch - Wulfrun Centre evacuated as rain pours through roof
  • MORE: 'Everything is ruined' - Residents distraught as homes flooded in Wolverhampton
The scene in the Wulfrun Centre Picture: @nataliedean27

One woman had to be evacuated from a floating car on Middlemore Road in Smethwick as five cars were left stranded - firefighters boarded a raft for the rescue.

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In Willenhall a 74-year-old man and two dogs had to be rescued from flood water.

Elsewhere in the city, WV Active Central was forced to close until further notice due to the flooding.

Major city roads including Wolverhampton Road were submerged in giant puddles, while Hurstbourne Crescent in East Park, Spring Road in Bilston, Bushbury Lane and Cannock Road were also hit with severe floods.

Craddock Street in Whitmore Reans remained closed on Thursday after the floods left a large water-filled hole in the road.

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Craddock Street was closed in Whitmore Reans because of this damage to the road

A silver VW Polo was submerged on the A4034 Bromford Road and several vehicles were underwater in Middlemore Road, Smethwick.

Trains between Birmingham and Walsall were suspended after flooding at Tamebridge Parkway while in Stafford, Newport Road near to the 24-hour Tesco was flooded.

In Sandwell and Dudley, cars struggled to drive through depths of water outside the train station in Bromford Road just after 4pm.

In Tipton, Powis Avenue was flooded, as was Walker Street where homes were damaged.

Natalie Pitts, whose mother lives in the street, said: "Waves of water getting bigger and bigger were coming through the front and back doors of the houses and bungalows."

There was also problems on the M5 as flooding closed lanes causing long tailbacks.

Sandwell General Hospital was also flooded with the fire service having to pump out water.

Wednesday's flooding came after isolated heavy rain in Stourton caused traffic chaos on Tuesday evening. The junction of the A449 and A458 was completely covered in water, while a nearby fallen tree blocked the A449.

Kinver Police posted this picture of floods at the A449/A458 crossroads in Stourton

A spokesman for Severn Trent Water said: "The heavy rainfall we've been experiencing today means we've had to deal with significantly more incidents of flooding than we would normally see at this time of year.

"It seems the worst of the weather is over now but our teams are working hard to get everything resolved for our customers.

"We know that sewer flooding is one of the worst things that can happen to our customers and although this situation is challenging for us, we're doing everything we can for those who have been affected."

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