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|EternBoyX||Posted: 28/6/2012, 19:30|
A man has died after being swept away by water in a swollen stream as huge apocalyptic-like thunderstorms battered the Midlands and northern England today.
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.
Scroll down to see footage of the storms
Wet weather strikes: A huge apocalyptic-like thunder storm struck much of the West Midlands and is marked in red and yellow as heavy rain returned to Britain
Bolt from above: A fork of lightning strikes behind marquees set up for the weekend airshow at RAF Waddington, Lincs
Washout: A road in Bodlmere, Sutton Coldfield, is turned into a river this morning as a huge thunderstorm strikes
Making a splash: A huge storm strikes in Boldmere, Birmingham this morning as 22mm - or almost an inch - of rain fell in 24 hours
Scene: The flooded stream where 66-year-old Michael Ellis was tragically killed after being swept away by fast-flowing water at Bittlerley, near Ludlow, Shropshire
Motorists struggle along flooded roads near Bellingham in Northumberland following a torrential downpour
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.
Witnesses said the man's body was found nearby after the emergency services launched a huge search as heavy rain hit.
Half a month's rain fell in just an hour this morning as the severe storm hit across the Midlands. In Scampton, Lincolnshire, 25.8mm of rain fell between 1pm and 2pm.
Rita Gatehouse, 66, said: 'Mike had been to doctors for blood tests and was driving home.
'He found himself stranded by the flood waters and couldn't drive through - so he got out and walked. He must have been trying to find a different way around when he got into difficulties.'
He also ran a Girl Guides group with his wife Judith. The couple did not have any children.
Chaos: Thunderstorms in Newcastle upon-Tyne turn the quayside roadway into a river with drivers battling to keep moving in the rising floodwater
Whopper: A freak 14cm-long hailstone which fell in Leicestershire
Hailstones the size of golf balls which fell in Sian Colver's garden in Leicestershire this afternoon
Earlier, 22.2m fell in Winterbourne, West Midlands, as a weather front moved across the country.
And Shrobdon, Herefordshire, had 37mm of rain between 6am and midday today - with most of the wet weather coming during a three-hour period.
Henry Chance, chairman of Bitterley Parish Council, where a man died, said: 'This flooding is the worst I can ever remember in living memory.
'The water down there is usually nothing more than a brook - its just a trickle. You wouldn't even know there was any kind of waterway running through Bitterley - you could walk up and down it in wellies.
In Birstall, Leicestershire, hailstones the size of golf balls fell this afternoon - smashing a car window in the process.
The hailstones - which measured up to 6cm (2.3ins) in diameter - fell during an hour long storm which started at around 1pm.
Hail: The ground looks like it is covered in snow in Queniborough, Leicestershire, following a storm this afternoon
Shattered: A broken rear windscreen on an Audi which was smashed by falling hailstones in Leicestershire
Whoppers: The golf-ball sized hailstones which fell in Sian Colver's garden in Birstall, Leicestershire today
Sian Colver, 29, said: 'The weather is just crazy, one minute everything was normal with blue skies and then suddenly all you could hear was what sounded like bullets hitting rooves and windows.
'I was shocked when I saw the size of them, they were like golf balls.'
But as parts of the country were hit by wet weather, London and the south of England remained dry this afternoon as the fourth day of tennis got underway at Wimbledon.
Temperatures of 28C were recorded in Gravesend while there was 27C in London
A black and white image shows hundreds of lightning strikes as red crosses stretching from Wales in the West across as far as Derbyshire.
Dan Quirk, 34, a deputy headteacher from Sutton Coldfield, Birmingham, said he had never seen such a sudden and sharp hour of rain before.
British summertime: A shop worker wades through floodwater in Penkridge, Staffordshire, as the country is hit by torrential rain and thunderstorms
Soaking: Torchbearer Glenn Chambers carries the Olympic flame between Edwinstowe and Mansfield, during a heavy downpour today
He said: 'It was like Birmingham-on-Sea, I have never seen it come down that fast or with such power, it was incredible.
'The road was literally turned into a river in just a few minutes.'
A 90-year-old man had to be rescued from his car by fire crews in Worfield, Shropshire, as three feet of water rose around his car on the A454.
Shropshire Fire and Rescue Service said the 90-year-old man was one of a number of people rescued from vehicles following downpours in the Bridgnorth area of the county.
Lunchtime soaking: Two women get caught in the rain in Spinningfields, Manchester city centre today
Herefordshire Council said a number of roads across the county were submerged, with severe localised flooding affecting Orleton, Brimfield, Yarpole and Kingsland.
The Environment Agency urged people to be on alert for more flash flooding across the Midlands and northern England as the Met Office forecast outbreaks of torrential rain across many central and northern parts of the country.
There is a continued risk of surface water flooding this afternoon and into the evening if drainage systems are overwhelmed by rainfall.
The heavy rain could also cause rivers to rise rapidly, the Environment Agency warned. It said the public should stay away from swollen rivers and not drive through floodwater.
West Mercia Police said the Redditch Ringway had been closed after a 66ft section of wall collapsed and caused two trees to fall into the carriageway this morning.
Structural engineers were due to assess the damage following the incident.
The fire service said Bromsgrove in north Worcestershire had been badly affected by heavy downpours in the area.
Crews received about 30 calls from north Herefordshire between 8.30am and 10am, with another 30 from north Worcestershire later in the morning.
The Environment Agency said up to 35mm of rain had fallen in one hour in Herefordshire.
Worcestershire County Council said Westacre Middle School in Droitwich had been closed after a downstairs classroom was flooded.
Read more: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-21...l#ixzz1z6s5u1bu