Live updates: Sussex hit by lightning strikes in overnight storm

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A thunderstorm which hit in the early hours of this morning (Thursday, May 2) has caused damage across the county.

A yellow weather warning from the Met Office was in place from 11pm last night (Wednesday, May 1) to 6am this morning. The storm caused damage to several buildings across the county.

Follow live updates as they happen below.

Storm coverage

Key Events

  • Photos and video footage show the spectacular storm which hit overnight.
  • Fire crews have attended several buildings across Sussex which have been struck by lightning.

These fantastic photos were taken by 16-year-old Josh Lee from Hastings on his Samsung phone.

Fire service confirms neighbouring homes were struck

Two homes in Brookside Avenue, Polegate, were struck by lightning in the storm, East Sussex Fire and Rescue Service has confirmed.

Four crews from across East Sussex attended to put out the fire, and no casualties were reported.

A spokesperson for East Sussex Fire and Rescue Service said: “Crews merged resources to put the fire out using breathing apparatus, pumping equipment and one hosereel jet.

“Firefighters also used a Positive Pressure Ventilation (PPV) fan for smoke clearance and thermal imaging cameras to check for hot spots.

“Crews put salvage sheets up in the roof of the properties to prevent any further storm damage and home safety visits were carried out for neighbouring properties.

"There were no casualties reported and crews left the scene by 2:35am, handing over to UK Power Networks.”

Nearly 40,000 lightning strikes

This map from the Met Office shows the lightning strikes over the past 24 hours.

The Met Office said there have been 39,375 strikes since 9.30pm yesterday evening.

Weather warning extended

The Met Office’s yellow weather warning has been extended until 10am today.

Thunderstorms are ‘expected throughout the morning before gradually clearing from the east’.

The Met Office has also said today could be the warmest day of the year so far.

Care home residents evacuated

The roof of a care home in Elmer, near Bognor Regis, was struck by lightning.

West Sussex fire crews were called to the scene at 1.44am.

Pictures show the roof has sustained significant damage but, thankfully, no fire was found.

Residents were evacuated and ‘safely relocated’, according to the fire service.

A bus stop at Our Lady Queen of Heaven School in Ifield Avenue, Crawley, has been destroyed overnight.

Lightning hits university building

The fire service confirmed it was called to a lightning strike at a university building in Chichester.

A spokesperson for West Sussex Fire and Rescue Service said: “Crews were called to a lightning strike at a university building in College Lane, Chichester, at 2.24am.

“The roof and electrics were damaged.

“Students were safely relocated while damage was assessed. SSE attended to make the electricity supply safe.”

House struck by lightning

Fire crews rushed to a house in Polegate which was struck by lightning. Four fire engines attended the incident.

It’s not yet known how much damage was sustained.

East Sussex Fire and Rescue Service have been contacted for more information.

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