In Harpenden, Hertfordshire, heavy rainfall caused flooding on Station Road and other areas in the region. Nitan Shah, who has run a newsagents in Harpenden for 17 years, said there was about 4-5in (10-12cm) of water in his shop. He said it happened « at least once a year » but had « not been this bad before ». The Met Office had earlier issued a yellow weather warning predicting heavy showers and thunderstorms between 11:00 and 22:00 BST across the region. Up to 20mm (0.8in) of rain was forecast to fall within an hour in some places.
Hertfordshire Constabulary had said it was experiencing a « high volume » of 999 calls because of cars stuck in flood water and urged drivers to find « alternative routes ». Hertfordshire Fire and Rescue Service reported that it had 65 calls and dealt with 30 weather-related incidents within a two-hour period, concentrated between Ware and Harpenden. Deputy chief fire officer Andy Hopcraft said one person was rescued following a road traffic collision during the heavy rainfall.
Hertfordshire County Council said the « geography » of Station Road and High Street in Harpendon meant there was « no practical way to completely prevent this kind of flash flood ». « Normally this isn’t a problem, but when we get sudden extremely heavy rainfall… the drainage system can be temporarily overwhelmed as the water cannot drain away fast enough, » a council spokesman said. « We do regularly clean the drains, and we have looked into the flash flooding problems at this location in some detail. »
The flooding in Harpenden caused significant damage to local businesses and homes. The community has rallied around to help those affected by the floods. The Hertfordshire County Council has acknowledged the issue and is working to find a solution to prevent future flash floods. It is important for residents to be aware of the risks of flash floods and to take necessary precautions during heavy rainfall.
Keywords: Harpenden, Hertfordshire, flooding, flash floods, heavy rainfall, Met Office, Hertfordshire Constabulary, Hertfordshire Fire and Rescue Service, Hertfordshire County Council.
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