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Kent back on flood alert as Met Office issues severe weather warning for rain on hottest day of year

By KentOnline reporter

It might be the hottest day of the year, but Kent has today been hit with a severe weather warning... for rain.

Met Office issued the alert for the county ahead of more predicted thundery showers overnight as the county's heatwave continues.

Forecasters say torrential downpours could bring up to 30mm of rain in an hour - as well as frequent lightning, large hail and strong gusts.

The woman and children were rescued from floodwater. Picture: Library image

The Met Office warned: "Significant flooding is possible from surface water as well as from small, fast-responding watercourses."

Many people across Kent were kept awake in the early hours today with heavy thunder and lightning strikes - including a woman injured in a lightning hit.

And hospital departments are already seeing an increase in conditions caused or exacerbated by the heat, with temperatures set to top 32C in the county today.

Forecasters predict more hot and humid conditions in Kent, with highs of 30C over the weekend.

The skies light up above Tonbridge in a lightning strike. Picture: James Miller

The new bank of thunderstorms is expected to sweep across the county later, bringing more heavy rain - and likely flash flooding.

The Environment Agency warned people that some drainage systems might not be able to cope with the intense rainfall.

Teams are working across the region to minimise river flood risk by clearing debris from streams.

As the rainfall is expected to be intense, the teams are focusing in particular on "rapid response catchments", where the heavy rainfall could have the greatest impact.

Deal seafront is among the areas of Kent to have been bathed in sunshine. Picture: Tony Flashman

Barry Russell, Environment Agency operations manager, said: "We are doing all we can to prepare for the heavy rainfall which is expected over the weekend, which increases the risk of surface water flooding.

"We are monitoring the situation closely and supporting local councils, who will respond to any reports of surface water flooding.

"The intense nature of the rainfall which causes surface water flooding makes it very difficult to accurately predict where it will occur, so I would urge people to check local weather forecasts and the gov.uk website for information on a regular basis."

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