Storms washed away by sunshine

SUFFOLK today woke up to a beautiful morning in the aftermath of a horrendous thunderstorm which swept through most of the county.But for a few puddles and dewy lawns, it would be difficult to tell that the region was hit by a powerful overnight downpour.

SUFFOLK today woke up to a beautiful morning in the aftermath of a horrendous thunderstorm which swept through most of the county.

But for a few puddles and dewy lawns, it would be difficult to tell that the region was hit by a powerful overnight downpour.

The flash storm left thousands of homes in the region without power and Ipswich railway station was evacuated following a lightning strike.

Commuters were left stranded after overhead power lines had to be switched off following lightning hitting the chimney at the busy station at around 7.30pm.


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National Express East Anglia bought in replacement bus services to get travellers home as it was unclear when the station would reopen.

A spokesman for National Express East Anglia was unable to say how many services had been affected by the chaos but it would be a “significant number.”

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But this morning the only indication of the drama was the breakdown of the stations electronic departure boards.

McGinty's Irish pub in Northgate Street, Ipswich, suffered a small ceiling collapse as the heavy rain took its toll on the historic building.

Barman Mark Dickenson said it was “business as usual” and just a small part of the lower bar had been closed off where the damage had occurred.

Flood reports also came in from Ancaster Road, Ellenbrook Road, London Road and Bramford Lane in Ipswich, as well as Ballingdon Street, Sudbury, High Street in Lakenheath and Olding Road, Bury St Edmunds.

Felixstowe suffered a two-hour downpour - but appeared to escape any damage or flooding.

The dark evening sky was lit up by fork and sheet lighting as the storm bounced between the Deben and the Orwell rivers and the resort was battered by torrential rain.

But the fire service today said there had been no lightning strikes or flooding incidents in that area and they were not called out.

A spokeswoman for Suffolk Fire and Rescue Service that unless the situation was life-threatening fire crews did not attend and the caller was given the number of a contractor to contact for help.

Homes in Bury St Edmunds and Long Melford, near Sudbury, were among the worst affected with more than 1,000 properties still waiting for power to be restored some four hours after the original blackout.

The Suffolk coast was battered by heavy rainfall, thunder and lightning, which Coastguards described as “absolutely awful.”

Fortunately the adverse conditions caused no serious road accidents but in Ipswich a tree was blown down in the early hours of the morning on Constitution Hill.

A Suffolk Police spokesman said: “We weren't excessively busy and the weather didn't cause any particular problem but Ipswich was a hotspot along with Sudbury and Beccles.

“The rain was very localised. Some places were affected very heavily but others hardly at all.”

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