Pictures and video: Cannock hit by flash flooding
[gallery] Torrential downpours in Cannock caused chaos as flooding saw shops shut and roads turned into rivers.
Cannock Shopping Centre was evacuated along with several other shops in the town, after heavy rained began at around 2pm on Friday.
Firefighters were called to Compton Hospice in Church Street after water leaked inside and there were fears it would reach the electrics.
B&M Home Stores, which is nearby, was evacuated following a power cut, while the car park was flooded. Natal Chapman, centre manager at Cannock Shopping Centre, said: "Due to flash flooding caused by excessive rain, we have had to unfortunately evacuate and close the shopping centre.
"We apologise for any inconvenience caused but we hope the public can understand that shopper safety is our number one priority. We hope to resume normal service this weekend."
On the A5190 Lichfield Road and Girton Road, near to Cannock Train Station, rain water filled the roads up to knee height after a drain appeared to have given way.
The floods meant traffic had to slow down to a crawl and cars were queuing from all directions around the town centre.
Flooding on the A5 Watling Street closed the road between Longford Island and Churchbridge Island. It also closed the Lichfield Road between Eastern Way and Norton Road.
The Express & Star's Tom Oakley tweeted that staff had had to barricade the door at the newspapers's offices in the town.
Councillor Gordon Alcott, who represents the Cannock North Ward, said it was the worst weather he had ever seen in the town.
"I've never known it rain like this is in a short space of time, he said. "It's unprecedented in my time. I have to say we've had floods and rain like this before but never had anything like this in so many parts of the district.
"It shows you that floods can get localised. There will be contingency plans in place which are coordinated through the County Council and our district officers.
"There are officers designated to deal with issues when people get flooded and incidents like this happen.
"They can call on various organisations and machinery to deal with it but I hope it isn't that bad and the water levels resume quickly.
"I hope nobody is hurt or seriously injured in any of the flooding and just to ask people to drive a little more carefully and slowly so they do have chance to break."
Two cars had to be rescued under a railway bridge on the A5 near to the Orbital Retail park by firefighters – after they got stuck in a road full of water.
A spokesperson for Staffordshire Fire and Rescue said: "We attended two incidents in Cannock where vehicles got stuck in the flood water and firefighters had to pull them out.
"We've had lots of call outs in the Cannock area and have been attending incidents to pump the water away."
The road was seen to be crumbling under the pressure of the torrential downpour on the A460 near McDonalds.
Social media was awash with people posting pictures of the scenes. Twitter user Scarlett branded the town Cannock-on-the-Water with photographs cars submerged in water up to bonnet level.
The roundabouts near the Orbital were also branded a no-go area in the early evening after two road traffic collisions added to the disruption.
The area near Mill Farm on Lichfield Road was also labelled 'horrendous' by Jacqueline Hayden on Twitter.
Trains between Hednesford and Rugeley were also suspended due to water blocking the line. West Midlands Ambulance Service tweeted: "Deja vu anyone? Significant rainfall and localised flooding in Cannock. Please take care if you are in the area."
Councillor Alcott added: "It's unprecedented and I've been about for the past 76 years, he said. "I've seen some thunder storms and bad weather but nothing like this.
"My grandson rung up from Birmingham and he said they have had nothing, its bone dry over there.
"My daughter was going to Lichfield and had to turn around twice because she couldn't get through the water.
Elsewhere in the Black Country, a pub cellar in Walsall had to be pumped by fire crews because of flooding.
A crew from Bloxwich Fire Station was called to the Crown Pub and Grill in Leamore Lane just after 6pm on Friday.
The crew helped to pump water out of the cellar and left at around 7.20pm.
Hednesford and Burtwood were also hit.
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