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Last Updated: Thursday, 8 July, 2004, 20:41 GMT 21:41 UK
Worst weather sweeping South-East
Rain pounds the beach at Scarborough
A shopkeeper braves the storm in a scene more fitting for December
Rain, winds and thunder are expected around England and Wales until the end of the weekend, forecasters predict.

The worst of the weather on Thursday is hitting the east and south-east, with strong thunderstorms and record rainfall in Stamford, Lincolnshire.

Local flood warnings issued on Wednesday have been withdrawn in Yorkshire and North Lincolnshire.

General weather across the British Isles is expected to improve as more sunny spells follow further showers.

'Cloud-burst'

BBC weather reports indicate rainfall in Wittering near Stamford have matched normal average levels for the whole of July of 51mm.

Road and rail problems are reported due to flooding in Stamford, while Wittering air field is reported to be "underwater".

Elsewhere, temperatures are set to fall as low as 12C in northern England and north Wales.

SEND US YOUR IMAGES
A surfer at Broadstairs, Kent, by Stuart Rogers
Surfer at Broadstairs, Kent, by reader Stuart Rogers.
Send your storm pictures to yourpics@bbc.co.uk

The cold spells have prompted British Gas put its winter emergency contingency plan into operation to prepare for a surge in demand with people switching on central heating.

BBC weather forecaster Darren Bett said the rain and wind in the north should become lighter moving towards the weekend.

In south Wales, southern England, the Midlands and East Anglia the weather would be better for most with some sunshine, but thundery downpours could develop later on.

Power restored

Power has returned to most homes in south-east and eastern England which were cut off on Wednesday, supplier EDF Energy said.

An English National Opera performance in Trafalgar Square was cancelled on Wednesday and the Hampton Court flower show was closed for the day.

The Princess Diana Memorial Fountain in Hyde Park was flooded, just one day after it was officially opened by the Queen.

Have you been affected by the storms? Send us your comments using the form below.

If you have any photos send them to yourpics@bbc.co.uk


Your comments

Spare a thought for the call centre guys who pick up the angry calls
Sarah, Brighton
I work for an electricity firm and the majority of the power supply problems come from overhead lines. All my colleagues have worked through the night to restore power. They too haven't been home for food or refreshments. Spare a thought for the call centre guys who pick up the angry calls. Oh, they also live in Sussex and are affected.
Sarah, Brighton

For the 1st time since 1989 Shakespeare Live had to abandon an open-air performance at Hazelbury Manor - this year of Julius Caesar. We struggled through the first half but gave up at the interval with the (covered) audience's agreement. The combination of wind, rain and low temperature was too much, and made the battle scenes in the second half too risky. Let's hope things have calmed down a little by tomorrow night!
Ahado, Chippenham, Wilts, UK

Last weekend I thought I must prune the apple tree this autumn. Well no need to do that now - the wind blew it over. I don't know what has upset me more the fact that the tree has blown over or the realisation that my annual intake of apple pie will be seriously reduced this year.
Gerry, Hoddesdon, Hertfordshire

English summers - nothing like them
Alan, Dagenham, Essex
After nearly freezing to death in my t-shirt on the way home last night, I woke up this morning to find half my shrubs uprooted, my flower tubs bowled around and my neighbour's washing all over the garden. English summers - nothing like them .
Alan, Dagenham, Essex

Talk about lucky! Weather has been awful here and ten mins before I broke down on the M4 it stopped raining - ok it was cold and windy but I can handle that. Ten mins after the breakdown service fixed the car and I was on the road, it started raining again. Someone up there likes me! (Although don't tell that to the gentleman who rescued me - he got soaked by someone driving through a huge puddle!)
Sue, Newport, Wales

My sister and I were among the huge throng of garden lovers who were told to leave Hampton Court Show after high winds and rain brought an end to our much looked forward to day on Wednesday 7th. We didn't get to see the main show gardens or buy any plants, was really disappointed. Our bus and train journey home turned into a prolonged wet affair.
Susan Adair, Richmond, Surrey

Yes, but the Leigh School Fete (Wiltshire) went ahead regardless of the torrential rain and high winds. An enjoyable time was had by all - only the hoopla was cancelled and the paintball shooting was a little off target.
Sam McCormick, Cricklade, UK

It's like November in July!
Will, Southampton
The whole of Southampton's roads have been moving at a snail's pace all afternoon. Everyone's driving extra slow and being careful not to flood their engines because of continuous puddles along the sides of roads. It's like November in July!
Will, Southampton

Was working at the local hospital today, and it absolutely tipped it down. Roaring thunder ensued and shook everything in sight. My typically 40 minute journey took 1hr 30mins.
Dave, Brighton, East Sussex

I went to try to catch the 15.36 train from Bentley to Woking to try to get to Surbiton! Pah! After announcements of "tree on the line" at the deserted station and claims of ignorance from the wall mounted information speaker (what is the point of them?), me and several other passengers had to wait over 2 hours before we were bussed back to Alton, then bussed to Farnham, then caught a limping train to Woking and changed again there to get to Surbiton! All in all a 45 min journey took me well over 4 hours.
Ian, Kingston Upon Thames, Surrey

Noticed the winds when I got off my train from Birmingham this evening although it was still shirt sleeves weather. 2 hours later and all our windows are closed and the central heating's back on. I'm not a lover of hot weather to be honest but in July, weather like this is depressing.
Simon, Stafford, UK

My roof got blown off this morning. My family have had to stay at my sister's house. People say these things come in threes, I just hope my house doesn't get looted. What a fine summer.
Chris, Hampshire

Lighten up people, it's just a bit of wind
Anon, Bucks, UK
I work for a traffic company and just before the storms hit there ensued a mad panic, but there is nothing out there on the roads apart from a few fallen branches. What is it with the British that the slightest deviant from normal causes immense panic? Lighten up people, it's just a bit of wind.
Anon, Bucks, UK

Our power went off at 10:45 and was still off at 19:00. Luckily we went out for my birthday meal and it was back on at 21:30 but it has been a huge problem all day as we are all electric.
Paul, Istead Rise near Gravesend, Kent

We have been without power since early afternoon. It wouldn't ordinarily be a problem if it wasn't such a common occurrence. We have several power cuts a year, normally with no explanation. In the 21st century this simply shouldn't happen. They know there are trees, they know there are going to be storms but they make no attempt to cut them back until it's too late.
David, Kent

A normal train journey to work today became delayed for 1.5 hours after it hit a fallen tree just outside Ascot station. Whilst in motion, yet after the brakes had been applied, the driver emerged from his cab to reassuringly tell us 'we are about to hit a tree'. Nobody was injured but if the driver had not made his exit, he could have been impaled on the branch that smashed through the front window!
Mark, Camberley, UK

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WATCH AND LISTEN
The BBC's Robert Hall
"Some are still waiting for the lights to come back on"



SEE ALSO:
Crew rescued amid weather chaos
08 Jul 04  |  Cornwall
Rain scuppers outdoor opera plan
07 Jul 04  |  Entertainment
Poor weather closes flower show
07 Jul 04  |  London


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