Wettest day since records began as Hastings is drenched

Today is officially the wettest day ever in Hastings - with three months rain falling in just over three hours.

According to local meteorologist David Powell parts of St Leonards have been drenched by 91 millimetres of rain already today.

This dwarves the previous record of 61mm which fell back on August 18 1952 and makes today the rainiest day since records began in 1865.

Large parts of Alexandra Park have been left under gallons of water while residents in Hollington had to be evacuated this morning after the torrential rain trapped people in their homes.

Mr Powell told the Observer: "In all my years as a meteorologist I have never known anything like this.

"It is not unusual for their to be storms this time of year, but for them to be this bad is certainly out of the ordinary.

"It started at just after 4am this morning and by 7.45am we had seen as much as three and a half inches of rain in some parts of town."

However, not all of Hastings ended up soaked. Mr Powell revealed some parts of the town centre only recorded little more than 5mm of rain this morning despite being less than two miles from the flooding's epicentre in St Leonards.

Hastings Borough Council also announced it was cancelling street cleaning for the day so that all its staff could be diverted to helping in the town-wide clean-up process.

A spokesman for the local authority said: "We will not know the cost of the flooding until the water subsides."