More than half the average monthly rainfall soaks West Sussex in less than 24 hours

Lucy Ward, aged nine, wades through flood water in Horsham on Sunday.  Photo By her dad Keith Ward

Lucy Ward, aged nine, wades through flood water in Horsham on Sunday. Photo By her dad Keith Ward

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WEST SUSSEX has been soaked by more than half the average expected rainfall for April in less than 24 hours this weekend.

Wiggonholt, near Pulborough, topped the charts with 32.4mm with many other areas seeing more than 25mm through Saturday night and Sunday.

But while today’s brief respite is welcome, it will be short-lived as a further band of heavy rain arrives from the South East later today (April 30).

Gusty winds peaking at around 40 to 50mph have been reported to sweep the county before midnight.

Ian Michaelwaite, of MBC Netweather, said: “The worst of the rain will pass to the west of us, with up to 20mm locally in Sussex, but typically less than 15mm across the region.

“So May isn’t promising much change in the weather, though the rest of the working week looks to be much drier, and even quite mild at times, the Bank Holiday is still some time ahead, but at the moment it’s not going to be a barbecue and garden party long weekend, with more rain and some chilly temperatures on the cards.”

The Environment Agency say it is preparing for more thunderstorms across the South East tonight.

More than 30 flood alerts were issued across the region as rivers responded to the torrential rainfall.

South East flood risk manager Peter Quarmby said: “Our teams have been working round the clock throughout the weekend to ensure our flood defences remain intact and protect people, monitoring river levels, checking and operating flood defences and removing any blockages that may increase the risk of flooding. Our Floodline Warnings Direct service has kept those affected informed and allowed them time to prepare if the weather worsened.

“Unfortunately while the rainfall has been welcome for farmers and gardeners following the recent dry weather, it will take more than a few days of heavy rainfall to undo the effects of nearly two years of below average rainfall.”