Floods across Cambridgeshire led to 78 call outs for fire crews – from lightning strikes, a roof collapsing and houses swamped with water.

Flooding outside Costa Coffee in St Neots. PICTURE: Susan A SangsterFlooding outside Costa Coffee in St Neots. PICTURE: Susan A Sangster

Flash storms hit the county yesterday (August 16) with the majority of calls coming from the Eaton Socon and Eynesbury areas.

A Cambridgeshire Fire and Rescue spokesperson said: “We mobilised crews to six of the 78 incidents.

“Four were incidents where the electrics had been affected and crews isolated the supply to make it safe. At one of these incidents in Swaveseycrews pumped water out of the property.

“We also attended an incident in Peterborough where lightening had struck the property and affected electrics. Crews made the property safe.”

Flooding outside Costa Coffee in St Neots. PICTURE: Susan A SangsterFlooding outside Costa Coffee in St Neots. PICTURE: Susan A Sangster

In Huntingdonshire, St Neots town centre was worst hit as storms battered the High Street leaving cars to wade through depths of water.

Council bosses said their operations team distributed 15 pallets of sandbags to around 40 properties in the St Neots and Buckden areas which saw extreme rainfall in a short period of time.

A spokesperson from Huntingdonshire District Council said: “HDC received calls to its out of hours emergency phone line over the weekend regarding concern for vulnerable residents and the risk heavy localised rainfall posed to their properties.

“While the provision of sandbags is not a district council service, we do have the capability to respond to an emergency and support the vulnerable.

“We urge residents and businesses to make arrangements in case of further extreme localised rainfall.”

An Anglian Water spokesman said: “Flooding is often an extremely complex issue with many different owners for the drainage network such as highways, local councils and even private owners, as well as ourselves. We work closely with all authorities who have responsibility for drainage.

“A large amount of rain fell in a short period of time yesterday, onto what is already saturated ground due to rainfall over the last few days.

“Intense rainfall can cause standing water to build up, especially on hard surfaces because there’s nowhere for it to go, this causes surface water flooding.

“It’s a bit like a bath plughole, and it takes time for the water to drain away.”

Officials from the Environment Agency said that intense rain and thunderstorms over the weekend caused “sudden surface water flooding in St Neots”.

“Our teams were also working behind the scenes to reduce the risk of flooding and keep people safe – monitoring weather forecasts and river conditions, and checking and clearing watercourses to make sure they were able to cope with the heavy rainfall,” a spokesperson added.

“We’d remind people to check whether they’re at risk of flooding and sign up for our flood warnings at www.gov.uk/flood or by calling 0345 988 1188.”