“Torrential storms battered parts of the Midlands and the north today causing almost unprecedented scenes with hundreds of shops and homes left flooded and many motorists having to be rescued from their vehicles.
Meteorologists reported an incredible 153 lightning strikes a minute – around 20 times more than during usual lightning events as hailstones the size of golf balls rained down smashing car windows and damaging buildings.
In some areas more than half a month’s rain fell in less than an hour. Rivers burst their banks while many small streams were transformed into raging torrents, leaving emergency services struggling to cope.
At the storm’s peak, 153 lightning strikes were being recorded every minute. In Leicestershire the freak weather saw hailstones as big as golf balls crash down, some even smashing car windows.
Michael Ellis, 66, was killed by fast-flowing water at Bittlerley, near Ludlow, Shropshire, this morning after two hours of torrential rain.
The retired deputy headteacher had been driving home after having blood tests at a nearby doctor’s surgery when the sudden floods cut him off just half-a-mile from his remote rural home.
Mr Ellis, who lived in the village with his wife Judith, 68, for more than 10 years, abandoned the silver Ford Ka by some farm buildings and attempted to make his way back home by foot.
But he only managed to walk 100 yards before he was swept away in a flash flood after a brook running through the village burst its banks”.