Torrential rains that swept across parts of England overnight prompted a wave of weather alerts and travel disruptions early Friday, forecasters and officials said, warning that some rivers could see flooding continue for days.
Nearly 300 flood warnings, which indicate flooding is expected, were in place across England on Friday morning, according to Britain’s government. The warnings targeted villages and bodies of water from the Midlands to the eastern and southern coasts.
Officials also issued hundreds more flood alerts, which suggest possible flooding, for various communities and rivers.
Sustained flooding was also probable along parts of the River Severn, the longest river in Britain, and the River Trent, in the Midlands, over the next five days. Parts of the River Thames, which flows through London, could see flooding from Saturday until Monday.
A playground in Quarry Park flooded after the River Severn burst its banks in Shrewsbury, England, on Thursday.Credit…Molly Darlington/Reuters
While rain this time of year in England is not uncommon, an unsettling storm rushed across Southern England on Thursday, producing heavy bands of rain.
The Met Office, Britain’s national weather service, had warned ahead of Thursday’s evening commute that heavy rain and blustery winds were moving through Southern and Eastern England.
Officials for the Great Western Railway said on Thursday that flooding had closed several routes, causing headaches for passengers. By early Friday, the railway company was delivering more bad news, telling passengers that it was still experiencing significant disruptions in its network because of flooding in multiple locations.
Officials in Nottinghamshire County, in the Midlands, declared a major incident because of flooding along the Trent River on Thursday. A shelter was set up for those whose homes were flooded or were at risk of flooding.
In East London, around 50 people were evacuated Thursday because of rising waters, according to the London Fire Brigade. Ten fire engines and about 70 firefighters were called for flooding in the area. Images on social media showed water covering roadways and sidewalks.
Weather conditions also appeared to be so terrible across parts of the city that a party boat sank near Temple Pier, about a mile up the Thames from Westminster.
Jorge Gallardo, who owns Bar & Co., the business that operated on the vessel, said on Friday that he had been running the bar for 15 years and was upset at its demise. Images of the scene showed London’s skyline in the background looming behind a partially submerged boat with its mast jutting from the water.