A SHOCKED hairdresser joked how she nearly cut off a client's ear when a lightning strike felled a huge section of oak outside her home

Neighbours say it was lucky no-one was walking underneath the tree, as the pavement is a popular cut through to the nearby supermarket.

Hairdresser Maxine Sharps was cutting her son's friend's hair when the thunderstorm started.

Bournemouth Echo:

She told the Daily Echo: "There was this loud crack outside and a few seconds later the whole branch came tumbling down, right at the bottom of my garden, literally on the corner where I live.

"I nearly cut his ear off.

"It was a hair-raising moment for us all."

The lightning strike happened around 2.40pm on Thursday at Mendip Road, Verwood. The large branch came down blocking Bridport Road.

Catherine Lane, another Mendip Road resident, said: "It is a really old Oak tree and it is two houses away from me on the corner of the road.

"Everyone was quite excited by the storm, I think we all needed it.

"The kids were out in the garden, then literally an almighty bang, followed by the crack.

"I thought 'Oh my God, what is that?'"

After looking out and seeing what had happened Catherine contacted the council, who came out and removed the tree.

Meanwhile, chatter on the sudden storm was soon circulating on the town's community Facebook pages.

Catherine said: "My friends who live the other end of Verwood said 'seriously we heard that; we actually thought, God that was close'. But I said 'it was not as close as it was to me.'"

Morrisons supermarket is just across the road.

Catherine said: "I'd walked back from Morrisons just as it started to rain, about 15 or 20 minutes before.

"People walk along that pathway all the time."

"The way they (Dorset Council) dealt with it was superb. They came out with a chipper, chopped up the part that had fallen and cleared the road.

"This is exciting as it gets during lockdown."

Now the tree will be assessed to see if it still safe.

Catherine said: "The problem is now, you can see the scorch marks on the tree so you don't know how safe it is, which is a bit of a shame.

"I didn't see the flash but the noise was impressive, and I was quite glad it was nowhere near my garden."

Dorset Council arboriculture officer Nick Collins, speaking yesterday, said: "We received an urgent call about a tree obstructing the road in Verwood. We sent out our tree contractors immediately and they cleared the tree from the road.

“We have been out for an inspection of the tree this morning and think that it is still a danger to the highways so we will be felling the remainder to make it safe.

“We had a lot of call outs yesterday, mainly in the East and North of the county, the storms seemed to hit harder here. If you find an obstruction on the highway that needs urgent attention call 01305 221020. You can report

minor problems or issues with a county road or pavement online at www.dorsetcouncil.gov.uk/roads-highways-maintenance/report-a-problem-on-the-road-or-pavement