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Homes left without power and traffic lights fail as thunderstorm hits city

By This is Lincolnshire  |  Posted: June 15, 2010

Echo reader Daniel Overton captured this picture during Sunday night's storm.

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LIGHTNING strikes knocked out power across Lincoln during a dramatic thunderstorm.

Homes, traffic lights and car parks were affected as thunder clapped, lightning struck and the rain poured on Sunday night.

Energy supplier Eon said 143 customers were affected by power cuts in the Lincoln area, which largely only lasted a few minutes.

According to Echo reader and motorsport photographer Daniel Overton, 23, it came after a lightning bolt struck just metres from Lincoln Cathedral.

He snapped the strike from the grandstand in Carholme Road and told the Echo he watched as the city was plunged into darkness.

Mr Overton said: "We'd been sat there for about half an hour then there was a big flash.

"We were looking at the hill and it just went dark. All around the cathedral was pitch black. It was quite a sight to see."

Dean's Verger John Campbell said: "That strike was at exactly 9.03pm and we know that because one of the clocks stopped. That's the only damage we suffered.

"The power went out for about three minutes. It tested our emergency lights which kicked in well."

Lincolnshire Police spokesman Dick Holmes said police received reports of traffic light failure at St Marks Street and Dixon Street.

He said: "Traffic lights were the main problem in Lincoln but it was at a time of night when it's not very busy so there were no accidents or problems on the roads caused by it.

The City of Lincoln Council received 93 calls, many of which were from its Lincare system, where vulnerable residents can pull a cord in case of emergency.

The council also provided sandbags for residents in Boultham Park Avenue to stem flash flooding.

Peter Hodges, team leader at the NCP car park in Brayford Street, said: "All the power went down until about 9.30am.

"Residents had a lot of trouble getting in and out.

"It blew all the power switches and the main computer so we couldn't get any figures either.

"There must have been a lightning strike pretty close by because even all the safety switches went down."

The power cut is also thought to have affected Bassingham, Heckington, Washingborough and Welton among other ares around the city.

Bassingham Parish Council clerk Helen Ash said: "I was prepared for a thunderstorm and for the power to go off but unless it went off later in the night, I didn't have a power cut.

"At one time there only had to be a clap of thunder and the power went off.

"We're always a bit nervous here. There was a man killed by lightning in the 1930s and in 1904 a four-year-old boy was killed as he sat in a farm house in the middle of the village.

"Then, some time in the 1970s, the Chapel House was struck and then only about four years ago a house was struck in Badgers Oak."

In Heckington, near Sleaford, residents were in the dark for about 45 minutes.

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    charlotte, lincoln  |  June 15 2010, 6:29PM

    i love storms and very much enjoyed watching the lightning just wondered what the hell happened when the electricity cut out. still had a laugh when my fiance came home from work crapping himself poor guy :P

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    Phredd, Lincolnshire  |  June 15 2010, 5:47PM

    It's the twenty first century ! Why do we still have to suffer power cuts whenever there is a little bit of thunder. We were without power for over half an hour on Sunday evening. Surely the technology is there for power to come back on after a maximum of thirty seconds !

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    Missouri Marten, Lincoln  |  June 15 2010, 2:00PM

    The website is updated throughout the day, so that's a poor excuse.

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    @work in gy, grimsby  |  June 15 2010, 1:39PM

    Bit harsh to criticise the paper for time delay guys. It's printed at night so it would have been too late for Mondays paper, not their fault! Impressive pics by the way.

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    Phil, Lincoln  |  June 15 2010, 12:51PM

    Daniel Overton, keep those pics coming. I wish I could catch the moment like you do. Two brilliant storms in eight days, at night, I love it. And just the right amount of rain to do my allotment good. Just a pity David Camerons lot can't bring in a law to stop weeds growing.

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    Jimbinho, Lincoln  |  June 15 2010, 12:20PM

    Perhaps the government should introduce some kind of "Two strikes and you're out" system to deal with Lightning.

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    Ian, Lincoln  |  June 15 2010, 9:22AM

    I agree Marten, another example of cutting edge journalism from the Echo.

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    Missouri Marten, Lincoln  |  June 15 2010, 9:04AM

    More rapier-like and up to the minute journalism from The Echo. The storm and power cut happened on Sunday and they report it on Tuesday. Impressive.

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    Ben, Lincoln  |  June 15 2010, 8:40AM

    I think it's ridiculous that in this day and age, lightning is allowed to strike wherever it pleases. If Mr. Cameron got his act together, he would bring in laws which would prevent lightning from entering areas where this sort of thing could happen. I personally use electricity quite often, and for 3 minutes I was quite worried for my sanity. Say "no" to lightning in built up areas.