London, Aug 17 (IANS): Roads in parts of the UK have flooded as heavy rain and thunderstorms lashed the country for a second consecutive day.
The Meteorological Office issued a yellow thunderstorm alert for England and Wales on Tuesday, warning of more flash flooding as well as transport disruption and power cuts, reports dpa news agency.
The weather warning will stay in place on Wednesday for southern England, where communities could be cut off by flooded roads, and the chance of fast-flowing or deep floodwater could cause danger to life.
The Environment Agency has put out 19 flood alerts in areas of the Midlands and south-east England.
It comes amid an abrupt end to last week's heatwave and follows weeks of little rain, which has caused drought and left land parched.
Authorities moved Yorkshire to official drought status on Tuesday, following parts of the South West, southern and central England and the East of England.
Experts said heavy rainfall runs off very dry land, creating surface water floods, and will not soak into the ground to relieve drought-hit areas.
Footage and photos shared to social media showed torrential rain and floodwater sweeping through towns across southern England and Wales, including Newquay in Cornwall, Bishop's Tawton in Devon, Haywards Heath in West Sussex, Port Talbot in south-west Wales, and Bridport in Dorset.
Scotland also witnessed travel disruption on rail networks and roads on Tuesday following heavy showers.
ScotRail warned passengers to expect delays on some routes, with some speed restrictions in place, while in Perth, Network Rail said it was dealing with flooding at the station.
Meanwhile, swimmers have been warned of sewage and pollution at several beaches on English coastlines, linked to the heavy rain.
According to data gathered by environmental campaign group Surfers Against Sewage (SAS), there has been storm sewage discharge into the waters at beaches in Cornwall, Devon, Sussex, Essex, Lancashire, Lincolnshire, Northumberland and Cumbria.
A spokeswoman for SAS said other pollution warnings in place may not be linked to heavy rain, and those visiting the coast are advised to check its interactive map on their website before they swim.