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Homes hit by lightning and roads flooded in east Kent after storms batter county

04 October 2013
by KentOnline reporter

Two homes have been hit by lightning after thunderstorms hit Kent overnight and torrential downpours caused flooding.

Kent Fire and Rescue Service said properties in Herne Bay and Ramsgate were damaged when aerials were hit in lightning strikes.

Firefighters were also called to reports of flooding in Folkestone, Margate, Dover, Lyminge, Hythe and Herne Bay.

Bolt of lightning over homes in Herne Bay. Picture Paul Darby

Bolt of lightning over homes in Herne Bay. Picture: Paul Darby

A spokesman said they received around a dozen calls to localised flooding at about 10pm.

Crews were called to a property hit by lightning in Queen Bertha Road, Ramsgate, at 10.30pm.

The strike hit a TV aerial and caused electrical damage, although no one was hurt.

Lightning over the skies of Herne Bay. Picture Matthew Austin

Lightning over the skies of Herne Bay. Picture: Matthew Austin

Firefighters were than called to a loft fire after lightning hit a house in Linden Avenue, Herne Bay, at about 11pm.

Fast-acting neighbours Tony Allard and Lee Hollingsbee jumped into action after lightning hit the property.

"It was amazing the damage it had done. We were just glad we could help..." - quick-thinking Tony Allard

The pair, both 27, were watching the storm come in over the Reculver coast.

Tradesman Mr Allard said: "It was on us before we knew it. Then we heard a loud thunderous crack and thought our mate's caravan had been hit.

"But then we saw a house behind us had been struck and a section of the roof was missing and all the lights were out.

"We could smell burning so expected the worse. We thought the house was on fire.

"We went over there and the family was in shock. One of the two kids was really upset.

"We went up in the loft and stuffed a tarpaulin in the hole to stop the rain coming in. It was bucketing down and we were soaked through.

"It was amazing the damage it had done. We were just glad we could help."

Lightning over Lydd-on-Sea. Picture Craig Roots

Lightning over Lydd-on-Sea. Picture: Craig Roots

Crews dealt with the blaze in an aerial booster box, which caused further electrical damage throughout the home.

No one was hurt and the residents were advised to call an electrician.

Storms hit many parts of Kent overnight, causing power cuts and localised flooding.

Areas including Canterbury and Whitstable experienced prolonged thunder and lightning, with residents taking to social media to describe the extreme conditions.

Cars in flooded Hythe High Street. Picture Kay McLoughlin

Cars in flooded Hythe High Street. Picture: Kay McLoughlin

One intrepid resident made the most of the wet weather when they were spotted kayaking down Hythe High Street.

Cars were left in several inches of water as rain hit the shopping parade.

Folkestone resident Kay McLoughlin said: "I watched the storm whilst outside the Butt of Sherry pub on Hythe High Street. It reminded me of when I was in a monsoon in the Maldives.  

"The water was above the tyres of some vehicles but had receded by the time we left Hythe at about 11pm."
Cars in flash floods in Dover. Picture Karol Steele

Cars in flash floods. File picture: Karol Steele

Forecasters say the rain will continue this morning before getting brighter this afternoon and over the weekend.

The Met Office said more than an inch of rain could fall in some areas in just an hour. 

Meanwhile, the Highways Agency urged drivers to take care on the county's roads in the wet weather.

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