Torrential rain causes flash flooding across Staffordshire
TORRENTIAL rain left motorists battling flooded roads and residents using sandbags to stem the flow of flash floods.
And yesterday's downpour means the county is on track to record one of the wettest Augusts in recent years as families rue the summer that never was.
The rain – which hit Staffordshire during yesterday morning and afternoon – forced local authorities and members of the emergency services to attempt to combat a number of deep floods.
Weather experts said yesterday's adverse conditions mean the region is on course to have endured a worse summer than the previous year.
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Figures from the Met Office have revealed the first two weeks of August saw 36mm of rain fall in the county. In July the region was hit with 139mm.
Yesterday's downpour caused problems across the city, along with Newcastle and the Staffordshire Moorlands.
Staff from Staffordshire Moorlands District Council's street cleaning team handed out sandbags to residents in Endon, Blythe Bridge, Stockton Brook and Brown Edge in a bid to tackle flooding.
Firefighters were sent out to close off Endon's Brook Lane after a flooded ford resulted in the area being deluged in 3ft high water.
Crews from Leek and Endon also helped residents safely turn off their electricity and gas as water swept through the area.
Last night motorists were being advised to avoid Brown Edge's Breach Lane.
A spokesman for Staffordshire Fire and Rescue said: "We'd urge people to monitor warnings given by the Environment Agency and to avoid driving in areas where there is localised flooding."
Police officers also fell victim to the rain after a patrol car got stuck in deep water on Milton Road, Milton.
It is believed three passersby waded in to push the vehicle out of the water.
Businesses on the stretch say rain has caused the road to be closed three times in as many weeks.
Andy Spragg, aged 40, of Cheadle, a designer at Milton Road-based business Rowtype Printers, said: "This has been the worst flooding I have seen on this road, and I have worked here for seven years. Water came past our gates.
"In the middle of the road the water was about knee-height.
"The grids are pumped out but it makes no difference. There will still be water here on Thursday."
Postman Glenn Anckaert, aged 50, of Scot Hay, was unable to deliver letters to some areas on Daleview Drive, in Silverdale, as the road was blocked by a flood.
He said: "In 20 years as a postman this is one of the worst incidents of flooding I have seen."
Keith Groves, of the Met Office, told The Sentinel that yesterday's rain was a classic example of a wet system across the central part of the UK, which has an unstable area around it.
He added: "But Staffordshire has not had it too bad compared to other areas. We have had reports of hail in Scotland.
"The nature of this type of weather is we can see a torrential downpour in one area and five miles away they will have had nothing."
In August, 2011, the county was hit with 45mm of rain – but this year looks likely to eclipse that.
However in August, 2004, the region was hit with a massive 175.6mm of rain, and residents must cast their minds back to 2003 for the best August of the last nine years, where only 22.8mm was recorded.
Reports from the Met Office say today will see a 'light shower' while meteorologists are predicting Friday, Saturday and Sunday will stay dry.