Published: 13:07, 22 August 2021
| Updated: 10:02, 24 August 2021
Parts of a Kent town have been flooded following heavy rain overnight.
Properties along Central Parade in Herne Bay have had water pumped from their basements in the wake of the thunderstorms this morning.
Bosses at ice cream shop Scoops believe the deluge has left them £10,000 out of pocket, as the business is likely to be closed for at least two days and they were forced to throw away lots of stock and some equipment.
Bill Cain, whose family runs the eatery, says staff had been working since 8am to try to clear about three feet of water from the premises.
"We'll remain shut today and probably remain shut tomorrow - that's the best-case scenario," he said.
"We've lost a lot of the ice cream in the basement, a lot of the stock, storage freezers, the day's trade - and our staff have lost their wages for today. There's nothing worse than losing business in the season.
"We pumped it out ourselves, with a lot of help from the local businesses. We need to wait for everything to dry out, throw everything away and have a complete clean-up.
"A lot of the basements here are flooded. Our neighbours have had their homes flooded and their belongings damaged - it's really quite bad."
Fire crews were spotted in Central Parade helping with the clear-up at about 6am.
Part of Sea Street, close to the junction with Hampton Pier Avenue, was also submerged earlier today.
Meanwhile, commuters had to wade through knee-high water in the underpass at Herne Bay railway station.
Town centre councillor Andrew Cook woke up at about 6am to find "a river running past my house" in Station Road as the rain pelted down.
"This only happens about once every six or so years," the Tory added.
"It was a hell of a lot of rain in a very short period of time.
"There were places where the water would have come halfway up your calf.
"It did disperse reasonably quickly, so at about 9am it had actually cleared."
The flooding also caused disruption on the railway lines, with trains heading towards London unable to call at Herne Bay until 10.10am.
A Kent County Council spokeswoman says the authority has responded to several reports of flooding across the Garden of England following the downpour.
She said: "Some areas received in excess of two inches of rain. A temporary road closure was put in place in Whitstable Road, Faversham, at about 6am, but this was quickly lifted as the floodwater receded.
"Herne Bay's Sea Street was also briefly shut while surface water drained away.
"Flood sacks were provided as a precaution to three homes in Park Row, Faversham, and to three more in Hanover Street, Herne Bay.
"We also responded to reports of surface-water flooding in High Street, Eastchurch, as well as in Half Way Road in Sheppey and Church Road in Faversham."
Following the storms this morning, there were a number of discharges into the sea from Southern Water's combined sewer overflows at Herne Bay, Whitstable, Swalecliffe and Tankerton.
They happen during periods of heavy rainfall to try to prevent the drainage system from being overloaded.