June 19, 2018 / 12:35 PM / 10 months ago

Thunderstorm briefly floods World Cup host city

A woman uses her phone as she sits in the car at the flooded street in Nizhny Novgorod, Russia June 19, 2018. REUTERS/Murad Sezer

NIZHNY NOVGOROD, Russia (Reuters) - Fans in Nizhny Novgorod have been basking in sunshine on the banks of the Volga river since the World Cup began, but the idyll shattered briefly on Tuesday when a thunderstorm flooded the medieval city’s streets.

About half an hour of heavy rain quickly built up rivers of water, bringing traffic to a standstill in parts and leaving some motorists stranded.

Due to the presence of a less-than-perfect drainage system, the water quickly rose above some cars’ wheels in places, leaving drivers and passengers to try and bail out any way they could.

While the flooding briefly dampened spirits at a hilltop fan zone, the sun soon came out again, calm returned, and locals simply shook their heads. “It’s not the first time - we’re used to it,” said one shopkeeper, watching motorists open their bonnets for engines to dry out.

Reporting by Stefan Schepers and Lucy Nicholson; Writing by Andrew Cawthorne, editing by Pritha Sarkar

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