flash floods london October 2021
© BBC News
A firefighter carries a girl through a flooded street in Knightsbridge area of London, October 5, 2021
Flooding hit parts of London after heavy rain overnight, causing disruption on the roads and railways.

Shops and offices in Knightsbridge were hit by a deluge, leaving some unable to get to work as motorists tried to navigate waterlogged roads. Torrential downpours caused by a cold front sweeping eastwards have affected other parts of the UK, with part of the M23 in Sussex closed.

Tube lines and the London Overground have reopened after earlier closures.

St James's Park in central London saw 35mm of rain between midnight and 06:00 BST, the Met Office said.

The wet weather also caused a road closure on the M23 in Sussex between junctions 10a and 11, while the M25 was affected as parts of the east of England were also deluged.
flash floods london October 2021
© BBC News
Cars were left stranded on the A3 in south-west London after flash floods hit London on October 5, 2021
Jacques Azagury, who said he used to make dresses for Princess Diana, is one of many business owners in Knightsbridge, west London, affected.

He described the floods as a "disaster" for his shop where "pretty much all the garments downstairs have been ruined".
shops flooded london
Azagury Designs was deluged by water.
london dress shop flood damage
Azagury Designs has seen expensive fabrics damaged
He said: "Obviously, I'm a bit anxious but with all these natural disasters you just get on with it and do as best you can to clean up.

"I don't know how long it's going to take or when we're going to be able to reopen again. It depends how much help we get."

Climate experts say the number of extreme rain events is increasing. The Met Office says the amount of rain from extremely wet days has increased by 17%.

It also said "a shift to more intense individual storms and fewer weak storms is likely as temperatures increase."

I remember reporting on severe flash flooding in Brixton more than 15 years ago and I was told then it was a one in a 1,000 year event. Now in London these very localised, severe, rainfalls seem to happen every few weeks or months.

Cities like London are now having to prepare for flash flooding events in the future. Transport systems in particular are vulnerable.

Better drainage, materials that can absorb rain and better flood protections are all being planned. But it all comes at a cost.

Commuters faced disruption as flooding at Gloucester Road and Aldgate led to parts of the District, Circle and Metropolitan lines to close.

London Overground also partially suspended services due to flooding at Imperial Wharf.

London has already been hit by severe downpours during the summer. In July, one month's worth of rain fell in one day. Two weeks later, there were further flash floods.

London Fire Brigade had received 68 calls by 04:00.

A spokesperson for the Mayor of London said: "Flash flooding in some areas of London last night is causing concern and anxiety for many Londoners and it shows once again that the dangers of climate change have moved closer to home."