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Home   Gravesend   News   Article

Torrential rain follows thunder and lightning as floods cause havoc in Gravesend

21 July 2014
by Alex Matthews

Thunder, lightning and floods caused dramatic scenes in Gravesham as Mother Nature flexed her muscles.

Stormy weather conditions were experienced across the area on Thursday and Friday as the sound of thunder woke people up during the middle of the night. 

Lightning could be seen illuminating the sky on Thursday night but while it may have been exciting to look at, some people were counting the cost after bolts hit their houses.

Lightning illuminates the sky over Gravesend town centre, captured by Dusty 'Defjam'.

Lightning illuminates the sky over Gravesend town centre, captured by Dusty 'Defjam'.

Roy Thomas of Calderwood, Gravesend, burnt his hands when trying to put out a fire in his attic, after a lightning bolt hit his roof.

Mr Thomas, who was with his partner Tracey Shelton and her son Toby, 15, at the time, said: “As soon as I opened the hatch I could see the flames roaring away but the whole space was full of smoke.I tried to smother the flames with towels and bedding but it was too hot and I burnt my hands.

“By this time Tracey and her son were passing wet towels and buckets of water to me, which I threw over the fire but it kept flaring back up. Thankfully, the last wet beach towel I threw on it managed to smother the flames and the firefighters were there.”

The storms followed hot weather with temperatures reaching 32 degrees in Gravesend on Friday, the hottest in the country at the time.

Cars battle through the water in West Street, Gravesend.

Cars battle through the water in West Street, Gravesend.

They were caused by something called ‘Spanish Plume’, where warm air moves from Spain or the Sahara desert to Britain.

It appeared that conditions had calmed down by the weekend, until Sunday evening when torrential rain caused flooding across Kent.

An 86-year-old woman had to be rescued from her house in Peacock Street, Gravesend, by workers from Gravesham council, after her roof collapsed.

A passenger wades barefoot through the flood at Gravesend station on Sunday evening.

A passenger wades barefoot through the flood at Gravesend station on Sunday evening.

Along with an ill relative, she was placed in temporary housing due to the unsafe nature of her property.

The Civic Centre also suffered from the floods with 21,000 gallons of water having to be pumped out of its car park and basement. The job took eight hours throughout the night, finally stoping at 4am.

The backstage area of the Woodville was also deluged as well as the stage and dressing rooms. Fortunately the problems did not effect the live showing of the Monty Python performance which was being transmitted from the O2 Arena in London.

 Gravesend station was forced to close for an hour due to the flooding with passengers wading out of the station to their cars.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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