Yesterday started out like any normal day. I did all the things that I would normally do on a Thursday, I got up, went to work, did my work and then travelled home. As I was on the way home I noticed that the skies were getting darker and darker. The clouds looked brooding and ominous, hovering overhead with a look of menace. I walked into the house and just as I did that it began to rain.
I don’t mind the rain, without rain we would not have water and there would be no life on the planet. This however was more than just rain, it was a heavy torrential downpour the like of which I have never seen while I have lived here. We could hear it crashing off the roof and looking out of the window all we could see were sheets of rain. Thunder rumbled ominously overhead and then there was a flash of lightning, so bright it was almost over our heads. We watched in awe as the road outside began to turn into a river. A gentle stream at first but then it became wider and fiercer.
Outside the traffic came to a standstill. The water became deeper and the cars were unable to get though it. The occasional 4×4 drove along, water spraying in deep plumes either side but nothing else was moving. Still the thunder crashed and the lightening flashed overhead. It felt like the rain was never going to stop, just when we thought it was easing off, it started falling more heavily again. The back garden, which is sunken, gradually turned into a swimming pool. In the front the water started climbing up onto the pavement and we began to worry it might start coming down the drive and get into the house. I started unplugging electricals and moving them up a height.
Eventually however the rain did stop leaving chaos in its wake. Many cars were stuck and had been abandoned by the side of the road. The traffic was backed right up and emergency vehicles were finding it difficult to get though. People were out taking photos but also quick to help others. One lady was stuck in her car and a group of people waded thigh deep though the water to help push her car though the deep water. Others were using buckets to try and bail the water from their drives where it was entering the front doors of their homes. One business man walked past in a suit, his trousers rolled up to his knees, carrying his laptop and his socks and shoes. The police helicopter was overhead, no doubt looking to see where help was needed.
It was amazing to see the force of mother nature in action and it makes you realise how devastating these flash floods can be. We were lucky but other parts of the region did not fare so well. This morning the sun has come out and the clean up can begin, but devastation has been left behind. I hope not to experience weather like this for some time to come.
I managed to take some photos and have included them below.