Drivers became stranded on the M25 after flash floods swamped the busy motorway causing parts of it to close overnight.

Hundreds of motorists came to a standstill and got stuck in deep water flooding the roads between Junction 7 and 8 on Thursday evening, after ‘biblical rain and hail’ battered London and surrounding areas.

Highways England said work to pump out the water and make the roads safe again will continue through the night until 5.30am. Some drivers reported being stranded on the motorway for hours while waiting for workers to clear the ‘severe flooding’.

The Met Office has issued yellow thunderstorm warnings for the next five days, with the potential of flash flooding or damage to buildings from lightning and hail.

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One tweeted: ‘3 hours so far on M25 closed due to flooding and drains blocked.’

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Another added: ‘M25 flooded near Junction 7. Biblical rain and hail. Clockwise traffic at a standstill.’

Highways England said the M25 remains closed anti-clockwise between Junction 3 Swanley and Junction 2 Darenth, along with the A3 Wisley Southbound entry slip.

It added that the London bound exit slip at Junction 1 and the fast link to the M25 anti-clockwise also remain closed.

But severe thunderstorms are set to bring more flooding and disruption into next week, after weather warnings covering large swathes of the UK were extended until Monday.

The Met Office put a yellow thunderstorm warning in place covering southern England, all of Wales and areas in the North West and Midlands until midnight on Thursday.

Warnings of further unsettled weather follow stormy scenes across parts of the country since Tuesday, amid sweltering conditions and ‘tropical nights’, where after-dark temperatures do not fall below 20C.

Met Office forecaster Matthew Box said: ‘We’ve got the risk of thunderstorms right through to the start of next week, and maybe even beyond that.’

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