Vast areas of central and southern England are underwater as heavy and thundery showers continue to cause severe flooding. Britain’s Royal Air Force has been called in to help police and emergency services rescue hundreds of people stranded by the flash floods
Many residents have had to be evacuated and housed in temporary accommodation. “For the first few hours it is an adventure for children but once there is no running water and you are running out of water to drink, you do begin to panic,” said one flood victim.
The extreme weather has badly affected many aspects of normal life. Many shows and entertainment venues have had to close as either they were submerged under water or local roads were blocked. In Stratford-upon-Avon, the birthplace of William Shakespeare and much visited by tourists, a performance of “Macbeth” had to be cancelled.
One American tourist expressed his feelings: “Well I am disappointed but it is the weather. If the actors were not ready, if the production was not ready on schedule, it would be different altogether. But what can you do about weather? A flood is a flood.”
With more bad weather forecast, making this summer a contender for one of the UK’s wettest on record, estimates of just how much insurers will have to pay out are running into tens of millions of euros.