- in Environment
Flooding has caused damage to shops and pavements as a city was deluged by heavy rain.
Winchester High Street was “like a river” on Thursday evening, leaving mud and debris on the road and in business premises, witnesses said.
The Environment Agency said more than half of the Hampshire city’s average August rainfall fell in 15 minutes.
Trains between Winchester and Micheldever have been diverted after a landslip blocked all rail lines.
Andy Roberts from the Environment Agency said the rain caused 15 minutes of “complete havoc”.
He said: “People were stopping in the road. They could only see two metres in front of the car. It was absolute carnage.”
Mr Roberts said 35mm (1.4 inches) of rain fell in 15 minutes, representing “over half a month’s worth”.
Debenhams worker Jimmy Milner said: “It was beyond a mess. It was like a river from 17:15. I was clearing my shop until about 20:00 last night. It’s not been like that for a long, long time.”
BBC reporter Dominic Blake said the street was strewn with piles of carpets and soggy rubbish on Friday morning, while many shops had mud inside them.
Hampshire County Council tweeted that highway teams were out overnight checking manhole and drain covers were secure, with more heavy rain forecast.
A landslip blocked all rail lines between Winchester and Micheldever on Thursday evening.
South Western Railway said cancellations and delays were expected until the end of Friday.