A massive clean-up operation was under way today after violent thunderstorms wreaked havoc across parts of the UK, emergency services said.
Flash floods and heavy rain overnight brought chaos to western Scotland and Wales causing power cuts and forcing people to flee their homes and abandon vehicles.
Twenty-four pensioners were evacuated from a housing association complex in the seaside town of Llandudno, North Wales, while three static caravans were washed away into Llyn Celyn, near Bala.
The torrential downpour left a number of homes across the region flooded with reports of landslides on a number of minor roads in the Dollgellau and Bala areas.
A spokesman for North Wales Police said waters rose to a depth of two to three feet at the height of the thunderstorms and a numbers of motorists in the east of the region were forced to abandon their vehicles.
In the market town of Mold two elderly residents were rescued from their homes by firefighters although there were no reports of injuries during the rainstorms.
The fire service also reported farmland between Trawsfynydd and Bala being flooded as rivers burst their banks and the whole of the Conwy Valley was put on flood alert.
Businesses were today counting the cost of the downpour with a number of shops being forced to close due to the floodwater.
In Scotland dozens of people were forced to flee their homes as heavy storms swept across the west of the country last night.
Firefighters had to evacuate houses and cars in the Hamilton and East Kilbride areas where a factory was struck by lightning and a fire engine had to be abandoned by its crew after becoming marooned in floodwaters.
A spokeswoman for PA WeatherCentre said the intense storms were at their worst south of Glasgow where up to 30mm of rain fell in an hour.
Strathclyde Fire Brigade said it had been called to a string of incidents in Bothwell, East Kilbride, Hamilton, Lesmahagow and surrounding areas between 11pm and 2am.
In Bothwell firefighters had to rescue people from four cars after they were trapped by floods.
‘One of our crews had to abandon their fire appliance because of the flood waters,’’ a spokeswoman for the brigade said.
Standing water was also causing problems for motorists in the area, particularly on the A70 at Glespin, near Lesmahagow, which remained closed to traffic this morning.
Scottish Power was also attempting to restore power to hundreds of homes in the areas which were blacked out.