Published: 10:59, 20 July 2021
| Updated: 20:25, 20 July 2021
Thunderstorms and torrential downpours have been sweeping across Kent leading to flash floods in the worst hit areas.
The Met Office predicted lightning and rain would be across most of the county today and a yellow weather warning has been issued for between 1pm and midnight.
Springhead Industrial Estate in Northfleet this afternoon. Footage: Marcus Marchant
A rainstorm of biblical proportions was caught on camera by Marcus Marchant.
He was at Springhead Industrial Estate in Northfleet this afternoon when the storm struck.
The west of the county bore the brunt of the bad weather, with Swanley, Dartford and Maidstone among the places to have seen a deluge.
A flood on the A20 at the Quarry Wood junction in Aylesford, a notorious flooding hotspot, saw people having to move bollards and barriers which had been swept into the road.
In Bearsted, near Maidstone, there were flash floods under the railway bridge in Ware Street.
Network Rail warned of two lines blocked between Paddock Wood and Tonbridge due to a fallen tree and between Barming and Maidstone East due to flooding on the line.
Services were also unable to run from Swanley to Ashford via Maidstone East. Buses replaced trains.
In East Malling, Wateringbury Road is closed in both directions due to flooding and a fallen tree between Sweets Lane and Barming Road.
Traffic on the A229 between Chatham and Maidstone was almost stopped in its tracks by a heavy shower.
KentOnline news editor Ed McConnell said "Everyone was driving down Blue Bell Hill at about 20 mph with their hazard lights on. All of the town centre is really bad."
Other roads affected by the storm in the Maidstone area include Sandling Lane which was partially blocked by a fallen tree between The Running Horse roundabout and Penenden Heath Road.
Forstal Road in Aylesford was flooded, affecting traffic between Cobtree Manor to Beddow Way.
And there were queues around Maidstone town centre, with the one-way system at Sheals Crescent on the A229 among the many routes hit by floods.
Earlier, the Met Office alert had said: "Although many places will miss them, some thunderstorms are likely to develop during Tuesday afternoon and evening, bringing torrential rain, frequent lightning, large hail and gusty winds. These thunderstorms could produce 30-60 mm of rain within 1-2 hours."
Storms were forecast for all of Kent apart from coastal towns.
In Swanley, a Police Community Support Officer was caught in a heavy shower.
A tweet from @KentPolice7oaks showed "lovely English summer" conditions.
The weather warning comes after the county was bathed in sunshine as temperatures soared to almost 30C on Monday.
Yesterday, a downpour came as a welcome relief to some.
A video of a shower was tweeted by @anoushka_im who said: "Anyone else ridiculously grateful for this today?"
Meanwhile, the Met Office has issued its first-ever “amber extreme heat warning”.
The alert covers a large part of Wales, all of south-west England and parts of southern and central England, and will remain in force until 7pm.