Cars stranded and businesses flooded as thunderstorms sweep across Black Country and Staffordshire
Flash floods have closed businesses and left cars stranded after thunderstorms across the Black Country and Staffordshire overnight.
The heavy downpour was seen all across the region and flooding hotspots such as Sandon Road in Stafford were under water.
For many areas it was the second or third day in a row that storms had struck, with further severe weather expected on Thursday and Friday.
Other areas affected included Alexandra Road in Tipton, along with Walker Street and Powis Avenue.
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The indoor market in Stafford is closed today due to flooding while the Guildhall Shopping Centre in the town has announced it will be closed until Friday.
George Demetriou, centre manager at Guildhall Shopping Centre, said: "Unfortunately, due to localised flooding - which has backed up in the shopping centre, we are unable to open safely for 9am his morning and the centre will remain closed until further notice.
“Our team worked tirelessly through the night to ensure that we can safely open as soon as possible. We are aiming to have sections of the centre reopen this afternoon and will provide updates later today.”
Some 10 flood alerts covering areas in the West Midlands were issued by the Environment Agency on Wednesday evening, alongside three flood warnings – meaning immediate action is required.
Two of the warnings, which indicate flooding is expected, covered the River Trent, while third was issued for Sandyford Brook in Stafford.
Yellow thunderstorm warnings have been issued for much of England, Wales, parts of Northern Ireland and southwest Scotland, with the potential for lightning, heavy rainfall and hail on Thursday.
It comes after temperatures above 34C were recorded for the sixth day in a row in parts of southern England, for the first time since at least 1961.
Forecaster Greg Dewhurst said: “It’s not often we get temperatures this high over several days, and that is triggering thunderstorms across parts of England and Wales.”
The yellow thunderstorm warning for Wales and most of England – excluding the north east – is in place all day on Thursday, when sunny spells could see maximum temperatures of up to 32C (90F) in the south east.