Flash floods have turned roads into rivers, closed businesses and left cars stranded after another dramatic weather event hit North Staffordshire overnight.
The heavy downpour was seen all across the region with severe flooding seen in Fenton, Stoke, Penkhull, Longton, Eccleshall, Stafford and other areas.
At least two drivers became stuck in water under the bridge on the A50 near Heron Cross and a lorry became stuck in Longton.
And hundreds of homes were again plunged into darkness as the electrical storm hit.
The impact is still being felt this morning as the big clean up gets underway.
The indoor market in Stafford has been closed due to flooding while the Guildhall Shopping Centre in the town has announced it will be shut until further notice.
For many areas it was the second day in a row that storms had struck with more rain forecast for today and tomorrow.
Pensioner Jan Smith’s Penkhull home has been left under water after water started cascading through the front door shortly before 11pm last night.
The 71-year-old, of Lodge Road, said: “The water was all coming in under the front door, we couldn’t stop it. It’s covered the whole downstairs. The laminate floor and carpet has been runined.”
George Demetriou, centre manager at Guildhall Shopping Centre, said: “Unfortunately, due to localised flooding – which has backed up in the shopping centre, we are unable to open safely for 9am his morning and the centre will remain closed until further notice.
“Our team worked tirelessly through the night to ensure that we can safely open as soon as possible. We are aiming to have sections of the centre reopen this afternoon and will provide updates later today.”
Some 10 flood alerts covering areas in the West Midlands were issued by the Environment Agency on Wednesday evening, alongside three flood warnings – meaning immediate action is required.
Two of the warnings, which indicate flooding is expected, covered the River Trent, while third was issued for Sandyford Brook in Stafford.
Yellow thunderstorm warnings have been issued for much of England, Wales, parts of Northern Ireland and southwest Scotland, with the potential for lightning, heavy rainfall and hail on Thursday.
It comes after temperatures above 34C were recorded for the sixth day in a row in parts of southern England, for the first time since at least 1961.
Forecaster Greg Dewhurst said: “It’s not often we get temperatures this high over several days, and that is triggering thunderstorms across parts of England and Wales.”
The yellow thunderstorm warning for Wales and most of England – excluding the north east – is in place all day on Thursday, when sunny spells could see maximum temperatures of up to 32C (90F) in the south east.