Golf ball-sized hailstones hit village as storms hit after heatwave
Golf ball-sized hailstones fell on a village in Leicestershire, smashing car windows and damaging buildings, after thunderstorms hit the UK during its heatwave.
The village of Kibworth Beauchamp has been subjected to a hailstorm on the hottest day of the year in the UK so far.
The hailstones were 2 inches long and contributed to flooding throughout the village.
Care homes and sheltered accommodation were evacuated when hail shattered glass and hallways were flooded as a month of rain fell in just 30 minutes.
Father-of-two, Kevin Messenger, 39, saw the windshield of his Volkswagen Polo smashed in hail while resident Katie Jaffar’s new Porsche was left covered in bumps.
Messenger, an IT manager, said: “The hail was so bad it shattered the rear windshield of my car, I know other people in the village who also saw their windows smashed.
“But we got away with it slightly because some houses were flooded and the roof of the local primary school collapsed.
“It all happened so fast, it only lasted about 45 minutes, but the damage was massive. It was really crazy.
“The damage must amount to hundreds if not thousands of pounds. But a few hundred yards down the road it was still beautifully sunny.
“You wouldn’t expect it in this country, but after the heat we had, thunderstorms are bound to arrive.
“I was disgusted by the car, but I feel lucky and a little grateful because there have been people more affected than me.”
The mother of two, Ms Jaffar, 46, said her family’s two cars were a “total cancellation” following the torrential downpour.
She said: “Wait a minute the kids were playing with their friends in the paddling pool and it was unbelievably hot.
“The next minute huge drops of rain started to fall, then it turned to hail – huge chunks of rain fell down.
“It was so fast, it was pretty terrifying. It looked like gunshots.
“We went from the sun to a stream outside our front door in about 15 minutes.
“It was the scariest thing, how quickly it all happened.”
She said the force of the hail also passed through a large skylight at her mother’s nearby and water flooded the hallway.
Ms Jaffar said: “She had to be evacuated from the top floor of her sheltered accommodation and I know a care home had to be evacuated as well.
“Our neighbors’ cellars are flooded and there was water right up to the front door. It was so scary how quickly this happened and the damage it caused.”
Emily Bevan, 29, said: “It was like something out of a disaster movie, it was apocalyptic. I’ve never seen a weather like this in Britain.
“The noise was also deafening. It was crazy.”
Paul Arscott, a market researcher, said: “The roads were crazy. Everyone stopped on grassy edges and sidewalks trying to hide under trees or bridges.
“It was like an Armageddon movie.”
Hailstones have also been reported in parts of Essex.
The Met Office had issued orange thunderstorm warnings for parts of south-east and central England between 4 p.m. and 7 p.m. on Tuesday.
Up to 60mm of rain fell in a few hours in the areas affected by the amber thunderstorm warning.
The UK recorded its hottest day of the year so far, after the temperature hit 32.2C at Heathrow Airport in west London on Tuesday afternoon .
The previous record for the year was 31.6 ° C, which was also recorded at Heathrow on Sunday.
An amber extreme heat warning is also expected to last through Friday, with mercury expected to climb to 33 ° C (91.4 ° F) in parts of the country.
The Met Office said the recent wave of warm weather drew humid air into the eastern part of the country, causing the showers.
The body of a 15-year-old boy was found in a canal in Stocking Lane in Knottingley, West Yorkshire on Tuesday.
West Yorkshire Police have issued warnings about open water swimming in hot weather and called on anyone with information about how the boy ended up in the canal to make contact.
Meanwhile, Merseyside Police said a man died and two more were taken to hospital following an incident at Crosby Beach.
Watch: Met Office issues first extreme heat warning in UK