Roads were flooded and homes left without electricity across Bedfordshire yesterday after heavy thunderstorms unleased inches of rain and lightning strikes.
Residents in Cranfield rallied last night in a clean-up operation following severe flooding, while the area around Cranfield and Salford was gridlocked with the main road through Cranfield University impassable due to the deluge.
There were long tailbacks of traffic in all directions which hampered rescue services called to help stranded motorists and residents.
Firefighters were able to get through to rescue two elderly people from their homes in Maple Road after they had been cut off by floodwaters.
Meanwhile, some residents in Crawley Road used sandbags to help prevent flooding water entering their homes and electricity supplies were cut in a number of areas including Cranfield and Bromham but restored around 8.30pm.
Bedfordshire Fire and Rescue Service received more than 150 calls following the flooding. They were called about five lightning strikes and a fire crew from Luton prevented a roof fire caused by one from destroying a house in Tottenhoe.
Calls were received from people suffering from flash flooding in Dunstable, Luton, Toddington, Kempston, Tilsworth, Aspley Guise, Cranfield, Turvey, Wootton and Woburn.
Dunstable was among the worst-hit areas in the county with flood waters almost covering some trapped cars.
Firefighters attended four women trapped in their car under the Duck Bridge. They were given advice to evacuate their vehicle as Fire Control staff prioritised calls depending on whether the caller was elderly or vulnerable and the seriousness of the risk.
During the heaviest rainfall, Bedfordshire Police announced they could only respond to the most life-threatening incidents in the town.
Meanwhile, in Aspley Guise, antiquated drains collapsed and road surfaces crumbled under the deluge.