BRITAIN is heading for its wettest June on record, with up to double the average rainfall for the month expected today and tomorrow alone.
Motorists battled through floods yesterday as train commuters faced major disruption.
And forecasters warned of much more to come, with northern England and Scotland put on alert for the worst of the deluges.
‘Be aware that we’re in for some treacherous weather,’ urged the Met Office’s Alex Burkill.
A woman in her 80s and her pet dog had to be rescued early yesterday from waist-high flooding at their home in West Kingsdown, Kent. The county’s train lines were among the worst hit by the rain after Network Rail warned that close to the monthly average of 45mm had fallen on south-east England in just four hours on Monday.
Tracks in south London were submerged and there were knock-on problems with signalling equipment and power supply.
The Midlands and north-east England, Devon and Somerset were expected to be among the worst affected areas last night.
Two officers were seriously injured when their patrol car smashed into a tree after careering off a rain-sodden road at 10pm on Monday in Stevenage, Hertfordshire Police revealed yesterday.
Work on sinkholes — discovered after a crash on the M25 in Kent — was finished in time for the road to reopen at about 7am yesterday after being shut overnight. But there was another closure for several hours as police dealt with a ‘distressed man’ on a bridge crossing the road at Swanley.
In Bristol, the Cricket World Cup match between Bangladesh and Sri Lanka was scrapped due to continual rain, becoming the third game of the tournament to fall victim to the weather.
A total of 49 Environment Agency flood alerts — which mean flooding is possible — were in place across Britain last night.
And there was a flood warning, requiring immediate action, for people living near the Waring in Horncastle, Lincolnshire.
Some roads and low-lying land in the town had already been inundated by the river bursting its banks. ‘Our staff are out in the area, checking flood defences, clearing blockages, and assisting the emergency services and council,’ the agency said.
The Met Office said 60mm to 80mm of rain was likely today and tomorrow, with up to 100mm in some areas.
Britain’s wettest June on record came in 2012, with a monthly rainfall of 145.33mm.
Some areas have already seen a third of that and the Met Office forecasts suggest, based on daily averages across the country, we will be about two-thirds of the way to a new record by the weekend.
With more than half the month still left, bookmaker Coral was giving odds of just 4-5 that the 2012 figure will be surpassed.
The weather should brighten a little at the weekend, with sunny spells and only a low chance of showers in many areas.