Hampshire: Houses partially destroyed after being struck by lightning in Andover amid thunderstorm warnings | UK News
Two houses in Hampshire have been partially destroyed after they were hit by lightning, the fire service has said.
The roofs of the two semi-detached properties in Andover were blown in after being struck in a thunderstorm, Hampshire and Isle of Wight Fire and Rescue Service (HIOWFRS) said.
Smoke was pictured coming from the homes in Mercia Avenue, with firefighters sent from seven surrounding areas.
Both properties were “severely damaged” by the explosion, the fire service said.
A 70-year-old woman was checked over by paramedics at the scene but was not taken to hospital, it added.
Yellow thunderstorm warnings are in place for the entire south coast and parts of Wales until midnight on Sunday.
It comes after a week of extreme heat across the UK, with temperatures exceeding 30C (86F).
Forecasters say the heatwave will be replaced by heavy rain, hail and gusts of wind over the weekend.
The Met Office has issued two thunderstorm warnings for Saturday and Sunday respectively.
Heavy rain is expected across southern parts of England and Wales on Saturday, with 50mm (2in) due to fall in just one hour, and up to 100mm (4in) falling in some spots on Sunday.
Those hoping to make the most of the first weekend of the school holidays could be left disappointed, with around six million leisure journeys expected to take place this weekend, according to the RAC.
Heavy downpours run the risk of flooding, road closures and hazardous driving conditions, while strong winds – of up to 55mph in coastal areas – are likely to cause problems for people staying in tents or caravans.
Ferry services may also be affected, the Met Office added.
Sunday’s storm warning moves eastwards into East Anglia and risks causing disruption to Latitude Festival in Suffolk.
Around 40,000 people are due to attend the event at the Henham Park estate as part of the government’s large events pilot programme.
The north of England is likely to have more settled weather, with less rain and more sunshine, although temperatures will be cooler than they were this week.