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Met Office issues yellow weather warning for rain and wind in Kent

By Ellis Stephenson

Heavy rain and strong winds have caused widespread disruption across Kent today, with families left needing to be rescued from floods and people taken to hospital due to falling trees.

Not long after we had the hottest April day in 70 years, we are ending the month in Kent with heavy rain and gale force winds.

There is a yellow alert in place for high winds and downpours, which forecasters said could bring as much as 80mm of rain.

A weather warning for rain is in place
A weather warning for rain is in place

There is a small chance homes and businesses could be flooded, and waves could overlap coastal sea walls.

A family of three needed to be rescued from a car after getting stuck in flood water near Maidstone.

Fire crews used specialist water rescue equipment and helped move the car "so it did not cause further danger to anyone else", Kent Fire and Rescue said in a tweet.

There is a flood alert in place for the upper part of the River Medway near Tunbridge Wells.

Flooding of low lying land and roads is possible during Monday afternoon but it is not expected properties in the area will be affected.

A flood alert is also in place for low-lying land and roads close to rivers on Sheppey.

People have been warned to be wary around Warden Bay.

Kent is in a period of higher tides, with strong winds and large waves raising water levels around the coast and in tidal areas.

There is particular concern for Faversham, where it is anticipated there will flooding of low-lying land alongside the Creek.

Flooding is possible either side of high tide between noon and 4pm today, although homes are not expected to be affected.

Elsewhere, water levels are expected to rise in the River Darent between Swanley and Dartford and there could be flooding of low-lying land around the Rivers Eden and Eden Brook near Sevenoaks.

Flooding of low lying land and roads is likely at Hadlow and Little Mill in the area around the River Bourne.

River levels are rising on the Upper Stour around Ashford, with low-lying land likely to be flooded on the Great Stour, East Stour, Aylesford Stream and Whitewater Dyke.

There have been several reports of disruption caused by fallen trees.

Both directions were blocked on the A291 Canterbury Road in Herne when a fallen tree hit a car.

A man had to be cut free from the vehicle and taken to hospital.

A fallen tree also affected the A260 near the Jackdaw Inn in Barham, which was blocked in both directions.

The A262 High Street in Biddenden was blocked this morning in both directions between A274 North Street and High Halden Road but has since cleared.

Forecasters warned of rain. Stock image
Forecasters warned of rain. Stock image

There are delays of up to two hours on P&O Ferries and DFDS Seaways between Dover and Calais due to adverse weather conditions.

The Met Office has forecast strong winds and heavy rain throughout the day.

A Met Office spokesman said: "Strong winds are... likely with gusts of 40-45 mph likely inland, particularly during Monday morning, and possible gusts to 50-55 mph along exposed coasts and over hills.

"Coming from an unusual (northerly) direction may increase the likelihood of wind-related impacts.

"Note that these winds will also lead to large waves, and spray and overtopping around some coasts. It may also be cold enough for a little sleet or wet snow on high ground but this is unlikely to settle."

The warning also spreads to parts of the east and south east of England, as well as London.

Earlier, Southeastern was forced to announce changes and cancellations to early morning services.

A spokesman said: “Extremely heavy wind and rain is forecast from Sunday night to Monday morning, which is likely to cause some disruption to rail services.

“We’re working closely with Network Rail to run as many trains as possible during the challenging weather conditions.

"To ensure the tracks are clear of obstructions or flood water, there will be changes and cancellations to some early morning services on mainline and high speed routes, particularly before 07:00. "

The affected early morning services were:

Ramsgate to Gillingham:

04.32 Ramsgate to Faversham - Cancelled

04.58 Faversham to St Pancras – Hoped to start at Rainham

Dover to Faversham:

04.30 Dover to Victoria - Cancelled

Sittingbourne to Sheerness:

04.56 Gillingham to Sheerness – Cancelled

05.22 Sittingbourne to Sheerness - Hoped to start Kemsley

Ramsgate to Ashford via Dover:

04.50 Ramsgate to Charing Cross - Hoped to start Dover Priory

04.30 Dover Priory to Cannon St - Hoped to start Ashford International

The following trains may be subject to late start / delays:

Ramsgate to Gillingham:

05.04 Ramsgate to Victoria

Dover to Faversham:

05.00 Dover Priory to Faversham

Ramsgate to Ashford

05.20 Ramsgate to Charing Cross

Passengers are advised to check before they travel.

The warnings come as the Environment Agency has put several rivers in Kent on flood alert.

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