Flooding forces water rescues as U.K. votes
Thursday, June 23, 2016, 1:48 PM - As people in the United Kingdom cast their votes in a referendum on whether to leave or remain in the European Union, parts of the country are dealing with destructive flooding.
The BBC reports at least two polling stations in London and the southeast were forced to close due to flooding after more than 40 mm of rain fell.
The London Fire Brigade said in an afternoon report that it had responded to more than 500 calls for assistance, and had to rescue around 90 people, including a pregnant woman and her child.
"We are expecting more heavy rainfall later today and so possibly more localised flooding," spokesman Rod Vitalis said. "However, we are working very closely with other agencies to protect people and property."
As of early evening, the U.K. Environment Agency still had 50 flood warnings or alerts in effect across the country's southeast.
The flooding caused severe travel problems, causing delays or shutdowns on several rail lines, including parts of the London Underground, where at least one station was forced to close. The BBC reports commuters on one train had to be evacuated when smoke was detected, and some rail providers were warning of potential delays on the commute home.
The BBC reports some parts of the U.K., including London, had received a month's worth of rain since late Wednesday, and more rounds of thunderstorms are possible later Thursday.