Flooding hits London and the South East on EU polling day

, Credit: PA/@ElizabethSBodea

Torrential rain and thunderstorms have caused flooding in parts of London and the South East as voters head to the polls for the EU referendum.

There was major disruption to the rail network across the region, with many routes blocked by standing water, while polling stations were hit by flooding.

A number of London Underground lines were also suspended.

The affected rail routes included services into London Victoria from East Croydon, London Waterloo via Surbiton and a variety of metro routes in south-east London.

Passengers travelling with operators such as South West Trains, Southern, Gatwick Express and London Overground suffered delays and cancellations.

Flooded railway tracks at Clapham Junction Credit: PA

A Network Rail spokesman said flash floods were rising in some areas and its engineers were also dealing with the aftermath of lightning strikes at Surbiton.

Flooded street in Walthamstow Credit: Rachel Millichip

The District line, DLR and London Overground were all suspended or delayed because of flooding.

Flooding in Romford Credit: PA

The District line, DLR and London Overground were all suspended or delayed because of flooding.

Many of London's roads were affected by localised flooding, including the North Circular, which was closed at Waltham Forest.

London Fire Brigade (LFB) appealed for people to only dial 999 where there is a risk to life or property after receiving twice as many weather-related emergency calls between 1.30am and 6.30am as the brigade usually handles in 24 hours.

People queuing outside a polling station in Battersea, London Credit: PA

It has dealt with flooded homes, commercial properties and roads, as well as vehicles trapped by floodwater and properties struck by lightning.There have been no reports of serious injuries.

In just one hour, 0.8in of rain fell in Bexley, south-east London - close to half the June average - with some parts expected to see multiple showers bringing a month's worth of rain on Thursday morning.

A number of spots saw large amounts of rain overnight, with South Farnborough, Hampshire, recording almost 46mm between 7pm on Wednesday and 9am on Thursday.

A driver gives way to an emergency vehicle as it drives through a flooded road in East Hanningfield, Essex Credit: PA

Central London's St James's Park and Alice Holt Lodge, Hampshire, both received around 44mm (1.7in) overnight, while a number of other places in Surrey, Hampshire, London and Essex have had more than 30mm.

Flooding in Romford, Essex Credit: PA

The Environment Agency has issued seven flood warnings covering rivers in London and Essex, and more than 40 flood alerts across the South East.Showers were expected to ease by 10am on Thursday morning before returning with similar intensity from 2pm.

The Met Office has issued an amber warning of rain for Buckinghamshire, Greater London, Kent, Surrey, Slough, Windsor and Maidenhead effective for later on Thursday.

A yellow warning covering the South East is in place until Friday.

Kingston upon Thames Council in south west London has moved two polling stations after they were inundated with water.

Polling station in East Hanningfield, Essex Credit: PA

Polling stations in Devon Way in Chessington and Shiraz Mirza in New Malden have been relocated, while several others remain difficult to access because of the wet weather.

Heavy rain caused the closure of the cafe at the Royal Courts of Justice complex in central London.

Staff said water had leaked through a roof and flooded a kitchen.