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Crashes on the M2 near Faversham and the A2 near Bean and flooding in Tonbridge and Tunbridge Wells as heavy rain lashes Kent

Torrential rain and strong wind is lashing the county, causing flooding, storm damage, school closures and crashes on the roads.

The downpour started during the rush-hour and led to various pile-ups and drivers were faced with slippery conditions and low visibility.

But it's not all bad news for some youngsters, who got an unexpected day off when their school was flooded.

Drivers are being warned to expect flooding. Stock picture
Drivers are being warned to expect flooding. Stock picture

More Park Catholic Primary School in West Malling was forced to evacuate after torrential rain gushed into the building just after 9.30am, prompting bosses to shut down the power.

According to headteacher Danny Coleman, two thirds of the building is under at least two to three inches of water.

Elsewhere, a crash involving three cars on the busy coast-bound stretch of the M2 near Faversham just after 9am.

The weather sent trees crashing down in Leander Road, Warren Wood
The weather sent trees crashing down in Leander Road, Warren Wood

One of the cars flipped over and the carriageway was shut near the junction six turn-off.

A barrier was also damaged and there was an oil spillage. Traffic was at a standstill and stretched back for miles until just before 11am when the road re-opened.

A police spokesman said: "It was reported that three vehicles were involved. Both lanes were reportedly blocked due to debris and spilt fuel across the carriageway."

Elsewhere, a freak storm on the Warren Wood estate in Rochester uprooted trees and pulled tiles off the roofs of houses.

Strong winds blew the tiles off the roof in Warren Wood
Strong winds blew the tiles off the roof in Warren Wood
No one was hurt in the freak storm in Warren Wood
No one was hurt in the freak storm in Warren Wood

Bernadette Keane, 55, who lives in Leander Road, Rochester, said she suffered a panic attack after witnessing a "mini-tornado" during the downpour.

She said: "I was sitting indoors with my three-year-old granddaughter and all of a sudden the rain came down really hard.

"I've got a big box which I keep at the bottom of my garden with tools in and it was about 10ft in the air.

A car crashed on the A2 this morning
A car crashed on the A2 this morning
Bradford Street in Tonbridge is under inches of water this morning. Picture: @JustJane1963
Bradford Street in Tonbridge is under inches of water this morning. Picture: @JustJane1963
The heavy rain last night and this morning has flooded parts of Tonbridge
The heavy rain last night and this morning has flooded parts of Tonbridge

"I thought it was going to come through the window, it was very frightening we ran into the hallway."

Also in Medway, people reported manhole covers were raised from roads by torrents of water as some areas flooded because of the deluge, including in Darnley Road, Strood.

Meanwhile, on the London-bound A2, a car crashed and spun around near the Bean turn-off.

Flooding in Tonbridge, London road/A26 near the Bidborough turning. Picture: @LauraJCaryl
Flooding in Tonbridge, London road/A26 near the Bidborough turning. Picture: @LauraJCaryl

Police were on the scene but one lane has been re-opened and traffic is slowly moving past.

Drivers are also urged to take care on the M20 after a lane was closed following two crashes on the London-bound carriageway.

It was blocked between junction 9 for Ashford and 8 for Leeds after two cars collided, shortly followed by another crash involving one car nearby.

Cars are wading through inches of water in Quarry Hill, Tonbridge. Picture: @LauraJCaryl
Cars are wading through inches of water in Quarry Hill, Tonbridge. Picture: @LauraJCaryl

The crashes are thought to have been caused by wet road conditions.

Elsewhere, some roads have become barely passable due to flooding.

In Tonbridge there is significant surface water in Bradford Road, the High Street and Quarry Hill Road.

In Tunbridge Wells motorists are having to drive through large puddles in Nevill Street. 

Despite the heavy rain and wind, Kent Highways spokesman John Todd said there are no travel warnings and the Met Office confirmed there are no serious weather alerts.


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