Lightning hits garage on Somerford Road in Christchurch as storms roll across Dorset

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Latest

  • Somerford Road in Christchurch has been closed off after lightning hit the front door of the BP petrol station.
  • A severe flood warning remains in place for Iford Bridge Home Park, meaning there is a "danger to life"
  • Evacuees of Iford Bridge Home Park have been advised that they will not be allowed to return home after the weekend
  • East Dorset District Council is advising the residents of Beaulieu Gardens Home Park to consider evacuating
  • A number of other flood warnings are in place Dorset as another storm sweeps in.
  • All football & rugby matches on Bournemouth parks this weekend have been called off due to waterlogged pitches
  • The Met Office has issued yellow 'be aware' warnings for heavy rain on Saturday from 9am until 2pm and Sunday from 9am until 11.59pm
  • Send your pictures to digital@bournemouthecho.co.uk. tweet @Bournemouth or text them to 80360, starting your message with BE.

7:39pm

Please feel free to stay in touch this weekend - we'd love to see your photographs and hear your stormy stories.

Contact newsdesk@bournemouthecho.co.uk or Tweet us @bournemouthecho

7:38pm

7:37pm

6:26pm

We've had the following update from Dorset Police:

Dorset Police together with partner agencies are issuing further advice and information to communities with regards to floods and areas at risk of flooding.

This is a multi-agency operation and follows monitoring of river and sea levels over the last 24 hour period, the weather forecast indicating further severe weather together with predicted high tides.

Poole harbour

A flood alert is in place for Poole harbour and the surrounding area which has suffered some flooding already. This area is being closely monitored.

Iford Bridge Home Park in Bournemouth

Bournemouth Borough Council has evacuated the residents of the Iford Bridge Home Park in Bournemouth. Alternative accommodation has been provided for those residents who required it. Evacuees have been advised that they will not be allowed to return home after the weekend.

Beaulieu Gardens Home Park in Christchurch

East Dorset District Council is advising the residents of Beaulieu Gardens Home Park to consider evacuating.

If you are evacuated:
• Leave in good time
• Take all essential medication with you
• Do not return under any circumstances until you have been advised that it is safe to do so

Evacuees are strongly advised not to return to these sites under any circumstances until they have been told that it is safe to do so.

Christchurch harbour

There is a flood warning for Christchurch harbour for tonight at high tide which is predicted to be at 10.45pm. The area, including Wick, is being closely monitored.

Occupants of properties at risk of flooding who have concerns or are unsure what to do should contact the Environment Agency on 0845 988 1188, visit their website www.environment-agency.gov.uk or call the emergency services on 999 if urgent.

Gale to severe gale force winds will be an added hazard, with the potential for very strong gusts in coastal areas.

Dorset Police and partners are reminding residents to prepare for the adverse weather and advice extreme care to be taken in coastal areas.
• Do not go to the beach or cliffs to look at the weather
• Do not carry out any water sports or make unnecessary trips out to sea
• Do not go near the sea to walk or paddle in the waves
• Do not ignore road closure signs

If living in an ‘at risk’ area monitor the Environment Agency website for flood warnings closely on 0845 988 1188, visit their website www.environment-agency.gov.uk.
Motorists

In high winds Dorset Police advise motorists:
• Not to travel unless you have to
• Keep your distance from other vehicles
• Keep your speed down – sudden gusts of wind can blow you off course
• Leave extra time to get to your destination
• Show consideration for other motorists, especially when confronted with delays and/or blocked roads
• When visibility is reduced switch on your headlights.

In the event of flooding, drivers are advised to:
• Exercise caution when approaching standing water on the roads
• Give consideration to the depth of the water
• Do not take any risks driving through flood waters
• Drive through shallow water slowly and be aware of the effect of waves on other road users.

 

5:51pm

The Met Office has just issued a new yellow warning for tomorrow.

The warning includes Bournemouth, Poole and Dorset and is valid from 12.05am until 2pm.

It says the following: A spell of heavy rain is likely to affect southern parts of England during the first half of Saturday, clearing eastwards early in the afternoon. A further 20 to 30 mm of rain is likely in places and much of this could fall within a 6-hour period. Further heavy showers may move eastwards later on Saturday.

The public should be aware of the risk of further localised surface water flooding and disruption to travel.

This warning has been updated to include southwest England.

5:42pm

5:37pm

We've been tweeted this picture of Eastfields Lane near the Elm Tree pub in Ringwood:

5:36pm

Caroline Weaver, of Ovington Avenue in Bournemouth, was outside in her garden just before her home was hit by a bolt of lightning.

Luckily, she had dashed into the house for cover just before it happened.

This is the third building we've heard of today being struck by lightning, all at around the same time.

Caroline's daughter, 12-year-old Taylor Booth, was unplugging her phone at the time of the strike, and received a nasty electric shock, although she didn't need to go to hospital.

Caroline, 41, said: "I was outside doing some gardening because the weather had cleared up.

"Then all of a sudden it stared pouring with rain and the wind started up again, so I came inside, walked through the back door and this flash lit up the room."

The electricity in the house turned off before switching on again as the lightning hit the house.

Caroline said: "I think it was just one of those freak things.

"It was pretty scary when it happened - I've not seen anything like it before."

4:51pm

If you're planning your weekend, there is another yellow 'be aware' warning for heavy rain and wind for Sunday, which has been issued by the Met Office.

The warning is valid from 9am until 11.59pm and covers Bournemouth, Poole and Dorset. 

It says: Outbreaks of rain, heavy at times, will affect the UK on Sunday. Quite widespread accumulations of 10-20 mm are then likely with locally in excess of 40 mm possible over some higher ground.

This additional rainfall, following the recent wet weather, means that the public should be aware of an increased risk of both surface water and river flooding as well as disruption to transport.

Further wet and windy conditions are expected on Sunday, windiest conditions then expected across western areas. Here tides will be very high, and the public should be aware of the risks of large waves and coastal flooding.

A spokesperson for the Met Office said: Another spell of wet and windy weather will affect the British Isles on Sunday as a new, deep depression becomes anchored over the eastern Atlantic Ocean bringing a spell of gales with gusts to around 50 MPH to coasts and hills. Whilst this is not especially strong, lowering pressure will combine with high tides around the UK coastline and bring the risk of some flooding.

4:37pm

4:27pm

Reports of a fallen tree blocking the B3067 Dorchester Road in Lytchett Minster both ways at the Randalls Hill junction

4:04pm

A spokesperson for the BP garage in Somerford Road, Christchurch has said: "We are waiting for an assessment of the damage and the site will remain closed until the emergency services and our engineers say it is safe to re-open."

3:59pm

Final bit of video for you, we have some footage from around Poole as taken by our photographer Richard earlier today:

3:26pm

Iford Bridge Home Park will remain closed until Monday over flood water fears, Bournemouth Borough Council have just confirmed

3:25pm

Paul added: "We dont want them to re-route the river, we need them to build a bund."

3:25pm

Paul Richards, resident at one of the Stourbanks blocks of flats in Conifer Close in Christchurch, said the building is surrounded by water, like when they were flooded on Christmas morning.

"I thought the same was going to happen again, it came up to the patio but thankfully didn't come in," he said.

"The river has been up touching the building since about 4.30am.

"It's like a massive lake with the building and a couple of trees sticking out of it."

3:21pm

3:19pm

The River Stour at Iford Bright Home Park remains one of only two locations in the South West affected by the severe weather warning. 

 

3:13pm

A BP spokesman has told us wind has caused damage to the canopy of the forecourt at the garage in Somerford Road in Christchurch.

She confirmed the road is closed and the site staff are waiting for an engineer to arrive to carry out an assessment.
 

3:07pm

We've started a gallery of Daily Echo photographer and reader pictures of flooding and high tides across the county. You can view it here

Bournemouth Echo: Heavy rain and strong winds cause flooding and high tides across Dorset. See Daily Echo photographer and reader pictures.

Picture of Wareham to Stoborough Causeway by Mark Burbidge

 

3:05pm

The Dorset Coastguard Search and Rescue helicopter has been spotted flying over Christchurch - luckily, it's only on a training exercise, so no need to worry!

3:02pm

Met Office forecasters predicting that today's squalls are set to continue into the evening, with a yellow warning for rain and winds in place until midnight tonight.

Heavy rain expected for parts of tomorrow too, but currently no warning

2:56pm

2:40pm

Two 100-foot trees have toppled to the ground close to a three-storey block of flats in Curlew Road, Mudeford this afternoon.

Residents believe they may have been hit by a lightning strike, as the BP garage is a five-minute walk away from the property.

Kerry Goldie, 40, who lives in one of the flats, said: "It went very dark, and there was a huge clap of thunder and flash of lightning.

"Seconds later, one of my neighbours texted me to say the trees were down. We ran out there straight away and it's absolutely unbelievable - it was a real shock."

Both trees were planted when the flats were built in the 1970s.

Kerry said: "If they had fallen towards the flats, it would have been a completely different story."

Here's a photo taken by Kerry after the trees fell:

Bournemouth Echo:

2:27pm

2:23pm

Miriam has been speaking to Sean Frampton, who is the group manager for Dorset Fire and Rescue.

He says Somerford Road may be closed for "some time".

They are waiting for a BP structural engineer arrives and checks the safety of the roof.

 

2:22pm

2:14pm

Two-vehicle collision has closed Upton bypass this afternoon - more information here

2:05pm

2:02pm

We've had a report that Upton Bypass has been closed at Holes Bay. We're just putting in some calls to see what we can find out.
 

2:00pm

 

1:58pm

1:58pm

This picture, sent in by Cathy Stuart, shows cranes trying to move metal skips from high water in Iford this morning

Bournemouth Echo:

1:52pm

Miriam Phillips is on the scene of the lightning strike at Somerford petrol station.

PC Bill Nightingall said: “The BP garage was hit by lightning a short while ago.  At the moment, the fire service are here making an assessment regarding the roof.

"The electrics have been knocked out but apart from that, the scene seems secure and the main concern is the safety of the roof.”

Witness Nicholas Bingham, the owner of nearby shop Lawsons on Somerford Road, said: “A short while ago, we heard very strong very winds.”

He said the wind was lifting up bikes outside the shop.

“Then I saw a big bolt of lightning coming down in front of the shop and a loud bang and that’s when it struck the petrol station,” he said.

“I’ve never seen anything like it.”

1:51pm

Bournemouth Echo:

Firefighters at the BP garage in Somerford Road, which was struck by lightning just before 1pm today. This photo was taken by Jon Beale

1:49pm

1:48pm

1:47pm

1:38pm

Dorset Coastguard says gusts have reached 55 knots today - that's about 63 miles per hour. No incidents on the coast yet today as many are staying away from the water

1:35pm

1:34pm

1:33pm

Solent Coastguard spokesperson has warned people to stay away from the coastline in stormy weather.

"We would ask people to keep away from the shoreline," she said.

"Lotsd of people want to go out and see how wild the weather is first-hand, but we'd ask for everyone to keep away. It can be very dangerous."

1:31pm

We've been sent this picture of flooding at Christchurch Quay this morning from Aaron Rollinson-Payne.

Bournemouth Echo:

1:28pm

Here's our final bit of video from Iford Bridge today. We spoke to Councillor Lawrence Williams about the evacuation of Iford Bridge Home Park yesterday.

1:24pm

A Dorset Fire and Rescue spokesperson said one fire engine from Christchurch is at the BP in Somerford Road.

A Land Rover is also at the scene.

Not only was the site struck by lightning, but high winds have "dislodged" the canopy covering petrol pumps, the spokesperson said.

The electrics are still connected, but there hasn't been a fire. 

1:20pm

An area of Christchurch was without power for around 10-15 minutes after a lightning strike at around 11.30am.
Carol Faulkner of Anne Close, Christchurch, said her husband Steve received an electric shock as he was cleaning the oven.
“There was a massive flash of lightning. Then we heard fire engines,” she said.
She said the lightning had struck a shed in nearby Bronte Avenue, blowing out the windows.

1:19pm

Lightning has hit the BP in Somerford Road, Christchurch. The front door of the garage has taken a "direct hit", we're hearing now. Customers and staff have been evacuated as the roof is believed to be looking like it might fall in.

A Dorset Police spokesperson said: "We received a 999 call at 12.49pm this afternoon.

"There is a report that the roof is swaying and might easily come down. A structural engineer is expected to attend."

Dorset Fire and Rescue crews are on the scene, and Somerford Road is closed between Somerford Way and Donnington Drive because of the risk to passers-by.

More to come on this as soon as we have it

1:16pm

Traffic signals at the junction of Hurn Road with the A338 are out. This may be to do with branch that has fallen on power lines on Hurn Road

12:56pm

We've been sent this picture of a fallen tree at the junction of Mallard Road & Mallard Close by Lyn Bennett

Bournemouth Echo:

12:48pm

We've heard from Andrew Gee who says a power line has been hit by a huge branch in Hurn Road in Christchurch. We're just getting some details together on this: 
 

12:36pm

We've had the following from the South Western Ambulance Service NHS Foundation Trust (SWASFT). They say they have attended 13 road traffic collisions this morning due to the weather making conditions difficult for motorists:

The weather problems are at their peak during the high-tide periods so those in coastal areas should familiarise themselves with the local times and expected impact.

The changing conditions on the roads is making driving very hazardous – SWASFT has already attended 13 road traffic collisions this morning.

The public can be reassured that all emergency, public and health services are working together to continue to provide a safe and effective service to all communities in the South West. However, it is vital that the public think about the most appropriate service for their needs before calling 999.

Anyone suffering a life-threatening emergency should always call 999. If it is not a life-threatening emergency, we would urge the public to think about using other available healthcare services – NHS111, walk-in-centres, minor injury units, pharmacies etc; please visit the NHS Choices website www.nhs.uk for further information.

12:33pm

We've been sent this picture of a fallen tree by Danielle Morley, who said it came down due to a lightning strike.

We're going to contact her and see if we can get more details on this. 

Bournemouth Echo:

12:19pm

12:12pm

12:11pm

Bournemouth Council have said they have plans in place over the weekend due to more heavy rain and strong winds forecast for Sunday and are continuing to monitor the situation: 
 

11:59am

11:52am

We've just had a very brief storm, which is now over Christchurch and Ferndown according to our followers on Twitter:

 

11:47am

Footage of Iford Bridge Home Park from Sally:

11:45am

11:39am

The Highways Agency is warning motorists to check the forecast before they travel as the severe weather continues to make driving conditions difficult. They are also offering advice for driving in the tricky conditions:

The Highways Agency is doing everything it can to ensure our roads are affected as little as possible by the adverse weather but we would urge road users to play their part by checking weather forecasts and traffic conditions before they set out and drive with extra care.

It takes twice as long to stop when the road is wet, so leave plenty of space between vehicles and slow down if hail, heavy rain or spray is making it difficult to see the road ahead.

 

High winds can affect any section of road, especially exposed roads and high bridges. Be alert for sudden gusts of wind, and give high-sided vehicles, caravans, and motorbikes plenty of space.
 

The Highways Agency, which operates and maintains motorways and some major A roads in England, is working closely with the Met Office to monitor weather conditions and maintain safe roads and reliable journeys.

Highways Agency traffic officers across the region are monitoring weather and traffic conditions around the clock and will be on hand to quickly respond to incidents, while colleagues in the regional control centre will be monitoring CCTV cameras, answering emergency telephone calls and setting advisory signs for drivers to warn of spray and other road conditions.

11:36am

Shore Road has now been reopened although it is still flooded in places:

11:29am

We've had the following update through from Bournemouth Council on the evacuation at Iford Bridge Home Park yesterday.

They say it is "unlikely" residents will return to their homes today:

  • All residents who needed it were accommodated overnight in a local hotel
  • Six households from the Iford site needed this support
  • It is very unlikely that residents will be able to return to Iford Bridge site today as water levels are continuing to rise; we of course want to avoid a situation where residents return prematurely and are subsequently required to evacuate again as this is distressing for all involved.
  • On-site security has been arranged for the whole weekend to ensure people do not risk their personal safety by accessing the site and to protect properties.
  • We have plans in place to cover the weekend and a continuous multi-agency assessment of the situation is ongoing.
  • We will continue to do everything we can to keep the site’s residents comfortable and informed about the situation, and to reassure them of our continued support.

 

11:27am

Richard has sent us these pictures back from Shore Road, which has now been closed:

11:26am

We've had some more footage back from Sally of flooding at Iford Bridge

11:23am

The RNLI building at Mudeford Quay has also fallen victim to flooding:
 

11:20am

We've also heard from someone at Lymington who says floodater is being pumped away
 

11:19am

11:17am

Richard has just tweeted to say police have closed Shore Road

11:12am

We've heard from our Poole reporter Jim who says parts of Poole Park are flooded at the Whitecliff end.

It is still passable but the little railway bridge is flooded but the park is still open. 

10:57am

10:56am

10:55am

We've also had these pictures back from our photographer Jon of Iford Bridge Home Park, which remains one of 14 places across the UK to be issued with a severe flooding warning. 

Residents were evacuated by Bournemouth Council yesterday afternoon.

This is the second time people had to leave their homes here. Around 90 elderly and bed-ridden residents were rescued in dinghies at 4am on Christmas Day when the River Stour broke its banks and floodwater swept into their properties.

You can read more about the warning for Iford Bridge Home Park here

 

Bournemouth Echo:

Bournemouth Echo:

Bournemouth Echo:

10:47am

Here's some footage of flooding on Christchurch Quay from Sally:

10:41am

10:36am

10:34am

10:31am

Our reporter Jenny Awford is in Christchurch and has said that The Boathouse is making preparations for flooding by putting up defences: 
 

10:29am

10:28am

Our photographer Richard Crease is over at Shore Road in Poole

10:27am

You can send us any pictures or video footage you may have but please don't take risks.

You can get in touch via the following ways:

Don't forget to include where the picture was taken and your name so we can credit you.

10:18am

And here it is:

10:17am

We've got some video footage of Mudeford Quay from Sally to follow

10:17am

Our photographer Sally Adams is at Mudeford Quay where high tide is expected at around 10.45pm.

The Environment Agency has issued a flood warning for Christchurch Harbour including Mudeford, Stanpit, the Quomps and Wick, which is in force for two hours following the time of high tide.

10:14am

Morning all. A number of flood warnings in place today across Dorset today, including a severe flood warning for Iford Bridge Home Park. 

We have photographers and reporters out and about this morning covering high tide and flooding. 

We'll be bringing you updates, pictures and video footage as we get them.

Comments (11)

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11:26am Fri 3 Jan 14

skydriver says...

Real good pictures it's great to be kept informed and pass on this info.
Alas if your in Christchurch, whatever you do don't stop, even to take a quick picture or two, in the rowing club car park, otherwise you will be confronted by a rather pompous man who gets somewhat upset, it's cost us a lot of money to have this car park etc etc etc,, so beware, and be ready for jobsworth! He could almost have been a councillor !!!
Real good pictures it's great to be kept informed and pass on this info. Alas if your in Christchurch, whatever you do don't stop, even to take a quick picture or two, in the rowing club car park, otherwise you will be confronted by a rather pompous man who gets somewhat upset, it's cost us a lot of money to have this car park etc etc etc,, so beware, and be ready for jobsworth! He could almost have been a councillor !!! skydriver
  • Score: 0

12:54pm Fri 3 Jan 14

beachcomber1 says...

lightning doesn't have an "e"

lightening means something is getting lighter. hth
lightning doesn't have an "e" lightening means something is getting lighter. hth beachcomber1
  • Score: 0

1:06pm Fri 3 Jan 14

barney39 says...

I reporeted that trree on Tuesday and the council drove past and ignored it
I reporeted that trree on Tuesday and the council drove past and ignored it barney39
  • Score: 0

1:24pm Fri 3 Jan 14

Understated says...

i feel for the people who have to leave their homes due to this weather, its a relentless weatherfront and it has to end soon i dont think people can take much more of this sort of thing. we are just lucky theres been few casualties thanks to the warnings ahead of time
i feel for the people who have to leave their homes due to this weather, its a relentless weatherfront and it has to end soon i dont think people can take much more of this sort of thing. we are just lucky theres been few casualties thanks to the warnings ahead of time Understated
  • Score: 0

1:24pm Fri 3 Jan 14

l'anglais says...

beachcomber1 wrote:
lightning doesn't have an "e"

lightening means something is getting lighter. hth
As in the coastline is lightening as manmade crap gets swept out to sea
[quote][p][bold]beachcomber1[/bold] wrote: lightning doesn't have an "e" lightening means something is getting lighter. hth[/p][/quote]As in the coastline is lightening as manmade crap gets swept out to sea l'anglais
  • Score: 0

4:13pm Fri 3 Jan 14

keith milton says...

great pics,must to show this to my friends around the world on WGT.

keithm1
great pics,must to show this to my friends around the world on WGT. keithm1 keith milton
  • Score: 0

5:05pm Fri 3 Jan 14

chrisii1991 says...

what about the other part of poole park which is flooded because lazy staff wont clean the drains
what about the other part of poole park which is flooded because lazy staff wont clean the drains chrisii1991
  • Score: 0

5:14pm Fri 3 Jan 14

chrisii1991 says...

Understated wrote:
i feel for the people who have to leave their homes due to this weather, its a relentless weatherfront and it has to end soon i dont think people can take much more of this sort of thing. we are just lucky theres been few casualties thanks to the warnings ahead of time
Itll end when the kids start their summer holiday then will return when they go back to school
[quote][p][bold]Understated[/bold] wrote: i feel for the people who have to leave their homes due to this weather, its a relentless weatherfront and it has to end soon i dont think people can take much more of this sort of thing. we are just lucky theres been few casualties thanks to the warnings ahead of time[/p][/quote]Itll end when the kids start their summer holiday then will return when they go back to school chrisii1991
  • Score: 0

9:08pm Fri 3 Jan 14

Dr Strangelove says...

Wonder how the surfing is doing at the surf reef?
Wonder how the surfing is doing at the surf reef? Dr Strangelove
  • Score: 0

9:05am Sat 4 Jan 14

bisadave says...

"Evacuees of Iford Bridge Home Park have been advised that they will not be allowed to return home after the weekend"

That's a bit harsh. Where are they supposed to live?
"Evacuees of Iford Bridge Home Park have been advised that they will not be allowed to return home after the weekend" That's a bit harsh. Where are they supposed to live? bisadave
  • Score: 0

10:58am Sat 4 Jan 14

scrumpyjack says...

bisadave wrote:
"Evacuees of Iford Bridge Home Park have been advised that they will not be allowed to return home after the weekend" That's a bit harsh. Where are they supposed to live?
We are paying for them to stay in a hotel.
[quote][p][bold]bisadave[/bold] wrote: "Evacuees of Iford Bridge Home Park have been advised that they will not be allowed to return home after the weekend" That's a bit harsh. Where are they supposed to live?[/p][/quote]We are paying for them to stay in a hotel. scrumpyjack
  • Score: 0

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