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Heavy rain causes flooding in Ramsgate, Margate, Northfleet and Greenhithe

More than 20 homes were evacuated as the emergency services battle to deal with 'significant flooding' overnight.

Last night firefighters rescued two people from a car in Watery Lane, Kemsing, after the vehicle became submerged up to the windows in flood water and an ambulance was called for a man suffering from being in the cold water.

The Met office has now issued a weather warning for Kent, that heavy showers will develop this afternoon again, and yet more localised flooding is expected.

Flooding in Sevenoaks. Picture: Nick Gallwey
Flooding in Sevenoaks. Picture: Nick Gallwey

Castle Drive resident Nick Gallwey said his house was one of those flooded in the downpour yesterday. He also watched a woman attempt to drive through the rising water, causing her engine to become flooded.

He said: "We saw torrential rain and hail. It was almost biblical. I have never seen that much water in the street.

"Water gushed up through the manhole covers, filled up the lawn, patio and then came through the house.

"The hail formed ice floes, it was spectacular to see them in June.

The 57-year-old taxi driver added: "A few hours later the sun came out and it was summer again. It was absolutely bizarre."

At its height, water levels rose up to around 2.5 metres (7ft) after a brook burst its banks in Ightham.

Flooding in Sevenoaks. Picture: Nick Gallwey
Flooding in Sevenoaks. Picture: Nick Gallwey
Ramsgate was hit by floods. Picture by Lisa Salter
Ramsgate was hit by floods. Picture by Lisa Salter

Firefighters have scaled down their operations and as the clean-up operation begins, officers and crew, alongside officers from Tonbridge and Malling Borough Council, remain on the scene providing assistance to the residents of affected properties.

A woman was also rescued by firefighters from a car that had become stuck in flood water in Manor Road, Hartley, at 4.45pm.

The M26 was closed in both directions after surface water caused a number of accidents.

Other roads affected included London Road, Halstead between the Calcutta public house and the Pole Hill garden centre in the Sevenoaks area. An elderly couple needed to be rescued after their car became stuck in flood water.

The flooded M25 in Kent. Picture: Clare Cornwell
The flooded M25 in Kent. Picture: Clare Cornwell
Flood in Margate. Picture: Kerry Boyd ?@KerryJaneBoyd
Flood in Margate. Picture: Kerry Boyd ?@KerryJaneBoyd

And rail services between Maidstone and Otford are being delayed because of flooding.

Earlier passengers were evacuated after lighting strikes damaged signalling equipment.

Fire crews said at 8pm that they were helping to pump water from flooded homes in Harbour Street, Ramsgate.

Earlier, a woman was rescued from her car and shops were forced to close as heavy rain caused floods.

Kent Fire and Rescue service freed the woman from her vehicle after she got stuck in her vehicle in flood water in Manor Road in Hartley, near Gravesend.

The Pepper Hill branch of Sainsbury's was forced to close after water poured into the building, while Ramsgate High Street was also flooded.

Thundery downpours also led to the closure of the B255 Station Road in Gravesend. There was a torrent of water at Greenhithe Crossways roundabout, with cars crawling along at slow speeds through the lake that quickly formed.

Shoppers in Ramsgate High Street had to skirt a gigantic puddle that welled up in the central precinct.

Forecasters are predicting a clearer day tomorrow in Kent, with a cloudy morning giving way to sunny spells in the afternoon.

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