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Retirement complex in Norwich struck by lightning

PUBLISHED: 10:47 19 June 2019 | UPDATED: 16:36 19 June 2019

A lightening strike causes damage to the roof of Warminger Court on Thorn Lane in Norwich during overnight storms.
Byline: Sonya Duncan
Copyright: Archant 2019

A lightening strike causes damage to the roof of Warminger Court on Thorn Lane in Norwich during overnight storms. Byline: Sonya Duncan Copyright: Archant 2019

Archant 2019

Residents of a retirement complex had a rude awakening - when their building was struck by lightning amid thunderstorms over Norfolk.

A lightening strike causes damage to the roof of Warminger Court on Thorn Lane in Norwich during overnight storms.
Byline: Sonya Duncan
Copyright: Archant 2019A lightening strike causes damage to the roof of Warminger Court on Thorn Lane in Norwich during overnight storms. Byline: Sonya Duncan Copyright: Archant 2019

One of the chimneys at Warminger Court, off Ber Street, was struck by a bolt during the storms in the early hours of Wednesday morning.

It caused damage to the chimney, with debris scattered across the roof of the complex A cordon and cones have been set up on the pathway below in case any more tumbles down.

Residents at the independent living complex said they had been woken up by a loud bang at about 1.30am.

MORE: Weather warning still in place after thunder and lightning wakes people up in parts of Norfolk

Warminger Court in Norwich was struck by lightning. Pic: Luke HillierWarminger Court in Norwich was struck by lightning. Pic: Luke Hillier

One of the people living there had gone outside and spotted the damage, so called the fire brigade, who had checked out the extent of the damage.

Staff at Warminger Court said nobody had been hurt, but the electrics at the complex had been affected, with engineers working to make repairs.

The strike came amid a weather warning for Norfolk and Suffolk, which remains in place.

At the weekend, the Met Office issued a yellow weather warning that the region could be in for thunderstorms and heavy rain and, in the early hours of Wednesday morning the storm arrived.

Warminger Court in Norwich was struck by lightning. Pic: Emily Hewett.Warminger Court in Norwich was struck by lightning. Pic: Emily Hewett.

The yellow weather warning, in place from 6pm last night (Tuesday, June 18) and continuing until 9pm today (Wednesday, June 19) warned thunderstorms could bring "torrential rain, hail and lightning to a few places", with the chance of flooding.

While there were no major flooding incidents and Norfolk police said there had been no weather-related incidents on the roads, people in some parts of the region had their sleep interrupted by the storms.

Dan Holley, from University of East Anglia-based forecasters Weatherquest, tweeted at 2am that: "Thunderstorms have finally arrived in Norwich.

"Lightning isn't desperately frequent, maybe one every 30 to 45 seconds."

Twitter was a mix of people enjoying the spectacular strikes and those complaining that they'd been woken up.

Celina Bledowska tweeted: "Must be the apocalypse judging by the clap of thunder that just woke me up. #Norwich."

While Pandulf posted at just after 2.20am: "What a crash of thunder just now here in Norwich. Nearly jumped out of bed and my skin."

At 3am they added: "Still rumbling. I'm grumbling as I so want to be asleep, but now I'm wide awake."

Damage to the chimney at Warminger Court. Pic: Dan GrimmerDamage to the chimney at Warminger Court. Pic: Dan Grimmer

More impressed was Stephen Ollerton, who tweeted: "Just sat through the most amazing thunder/lightning storm I've ever seen."

Phil Garner, a forecaster at Weatherquest, said the storm had passed over the southern and eastern parts of Norfolk, so missed some sections of the county completely.

While the official rainfall figures are not yet available, he said areas along the coast would have seen about 10 to 12mm of precipitation.

And Mr Garner said there could be more to come. He said: "There is an area of thunderstorms coming from Kent and Sussex, so, we could yet hear a rumble of thunder and two as we get through the morning.

A lightening strike causes damage to the roof of Warminger Court on Thorn Lane in Norwich during overnight storms.
Byline: Sonya Duncan
Copyright: Archant 2019A lightening strike causes damage to the roof of Warminger Court on Thorn Lane in Norwich during overnight storms. Byline: Sonya Duncan Copyright: Archant 2019

"There will be one or two showers coming through from the late afternoon and early evening."

He said it would be drier as the week continues, but that it could be cooler going into the weekend.

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