28 Jun 2012

Man dies as storms sweep England and Wales

Floods, landslides and a lightning strike on one of north-east England’s most famous landmarks cause chaos across parts of Wales, central and northern England.

The extreme weather hit this morning and this afternoon, with storms affecting Wales early on before moving to northern and central parts of England. A man died after being swept away by floodwater in a stream in Bitterley, near Ludlow, Shropshire, shortly after 10.30 this morning.

A police spokeswoman said the man, in his 60s, has not been formally identified.

Radar images on Thursday afternoon showed in the east Midlands the sort of ‘hook echo’ which is a typical signature of a supercell storm – the sorts of storms that can produce tornadoes.

Later in the day a ‘rope’ of intense storms also snaked across north Wales, northern England and parts of the Borders, while most of the rest of Scotland was wet and locally thundery.

Intense downpour

In Newcastle-upon-Tyne, the city’s central train station was flooded following an intense downpour. National Rail said there were major delays between York and Edinburgh.

It said flooding and a landslip caused disruption near Berwick-upon-Tweed and flooding was also causing disruption between Durham and Newcastle.

There were no trains between Durham and Berwick-upon-Tweed, and there was a half-hourly service between Berwick-upon-Tweed and Edinburgh.

Flooding near Haltwhistle in Northumberland meant there were no trains between Hexham, also in Northumberland, and Carlisle in Cumbria.

Lightning strike

A dramatic video of lightning striking the Tyne Bridge in Newcastle quickly spread across Twitter, with the hashtag #newcastleendofdays being used to describe some of the worst imaginable weather.

Another extraordinary video posted on Facebook showed a manhole cover being burst by the volume of water, leading to a geyser-like effect which spewed water several metres into the air.

One tweeter advised visistors to the city to “bring armbands”.

As the evening rush hour got under way, roads around Newcastle were underwater. The Environment Agency tweeted a photo of the flooded road outside their Newcastle office, which is close to the Tyne.

Heavy black clouds covered parts of north east England as heavy summer storms passed over.

However, approximately south of a line from the Bristol Channel to The Wash, there were a few showers here and there but for many people lots of warm sunshine, and strawberries were consumed serenely at Wimbledon.