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Roads flooded and cricket cancelled as heavy rain returns to Black Country and Staffordshire

By Jamie Brassington | Stafford | Transport | Published:

Events have been disrupted and drivers are facing tough road conditions after heavy rain returned to the region.

Cars driving through water on Foregate Street in Stafford

Traffic was moving slower than normal on roads throughout the Black Country and Staffordshire this morning after rain pounded the region for much of the night.

After a generally dry but humid Monday, rain returned to the West Midlands on Monday evening as thunderstorms rolled over the area.

One Dudley resident navigates their way along a wet pavement
A lorry makes a splash on Radford Lane, west of Wolverhampton

However the area has not been as badly affected as the south east of the country and Shropshire, where flash flooding has covered several roads.

The thunderstorms were powered up and brought to UK shores by a plume of warm air coming in from continental Europe, which is experiencing a heatwave that could bring record-breaking temperatures to France, Spain and Belgium

As a result of the rain motorists have had to drive through surface water on major routes such as the M6 and M54 this morning, while some minor roads, such as Sandon Road and Foregate Street in Stafford, are also partially flooded.

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A stretch of Sandon Road, near the Shell garage in the north of town, has been flooded for much of the last week as drains have struggled to cope with the persistent rainfall.

And footage taken this morning showed drivers again having to navigate through pools of water but the amount of surface water has since gone down.

Part of High Hill in Essington had also flooded.

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Meanwhile the weather has impacted events across the area.

Worcestershire's cricket match against Australia ‘A’ in Kidderminster - already moved from New Road in Worcester to Kidderminster due to flooding at the original venue - was called off without a ball being bowled, while Edgbaston Cricket Ground was covered ahead of New Zealand v Pakistan in the World Cup on Wednesday.

School sports days have also had to be postponed. Springfield Primary School in Rowley Regis announced that it had postponed its key stage two sports day while St John's Primary Academy in Essington postponed its event for years 1, 2 and 3.

The Met Office predicted consistent rain over the Black Country and Staffordshire throughout Tuesday morning, despite most of the region not being covered by a severe weather warning.

Tuesday afternoon was expected to be drier, with the chance of rain down to 10 to 20 per cent from midday in the Black Country and from around 3pm in Staffordshire.

The severe weather warning, which included the outskirts of Stafford but avoided most of the county and all of the Black Country, was in place until midday.

WATCH Tuesday's weather forecast:

Tuesday mid-morning forecast 25/06/19

The alert, which also covers much of Shropshire and Mid Wales, warned of a small chance that homes and businesses could be flooded and the chance of delays on public transport.

Looking forward, Wednesday is expected to be dry but cloudy while Thursday, Friday and Saturday should be warmer with temperatures of up to 26C (79F) according to the Met Office.

The national picture

Almost half a month's worth of rain fell in just a few hours in some areas on Tuesday morning, with Kent and Sussex being the worst-hit.

Localised flooding was reported across the South East as commuters set off to work.

Rail operator Southern reported that all lines from Brighton through Haywards Heath were temporarily blocked due to the heavy rain and flooding on the tracks, and some passengers were delayed by more than an hour.

Coastal areas were the worst hit by the downpour, but some 0.3in (7mm-8mm) of rain in the capital caused minor flooding on some roads, according to Transport for London.

Following the downpours, temperatures are expected to build as the week progresses and warm air moves across the Channel.

Public Health England warned that the heat could bring health risks to the elderly and people with underlying health conditions.

Umbrellas were needed in Stafford

Peak temperatures across much of England are predicted to be well above 20C (68F), with the forecast for the Glastonbury Festival looking dry and sunny.

Heavy downpours in Scotland on Monday evening forced road closures and the suspension of tram services in Edinburgh.

Temperatures in Scotland and Northern Ireland for the rest of the week are expected to be slightly cooler, although the mercury is expected to rise above 20C (68F) on Saturday.

London could see temperatures in excess of 30C (86F) on Saturday.

Last year's record for June, a month when the UK was hit by a series of wildfires, was 33C (91.4F) at Porthmadog in Gwynedd, Wales, while the overall June record is 35.6C (96.1F), set in Southampton in 1976.

Jamie Brassington

By Jamie Brassington
Senior Multi-Media Journalist - @JamieB_Star

Senior reporter at the Express & Star. Contact me at jamie.brassington@expressandstar.co.uk.

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