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Power cuts and rain for Dorset & the New Forest

Heavy thunderstorms brought our extended summer to a dramatic end overnight - in a twist to what has been the hottest September in 100 years.

Dorset and the New Forest were among the hardest hit last night - homes struck by lightning, schools closed and roads flooded, and thousands of homes left without power. The storm arrived in Dorset at 1am and slowly made its way east. At it's peak, more than an inch of rain fell in Swanage in just one hour, overwhelming drains and flooding homes.

In Christchurch, a house caught fire when it was struck by lightning, causing the roof to collapse. Rachel Hepworth reports on today's clean-up after the storm.

Teenager in critical condition after car hits escaped pony

A teenage girl is fighting for her life in hospital after the car she was travelling in hit a pony overnight.

The crash happened on the A35 between Hinton and Holmsley Credit: Google Maps

The 18-year-old girl, from Brockenhurst, New Hampshire, was a passenger in the silver Volkswagen Polo when it crashed into the New Forest pony on the A35 between Hinton and Holmsley, shortly after 11pm.

She suffered life-threatening injuries and is in a critical condition in hospital. Officers from Hampshire Police said her next of kin had been informed.

The driver, a woman from Sway, and another female passenger, both 18, were not injured, but the pony died at the scene of the crash.

Investigators believe the pony had escaped onto the road through a gate which may have been left open by a member of the public.

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Warning over potentially deadly disease affecting dogs

Dog owners are being warned about Alabama Rot which could be fatal to dogs Credit: ITV Meridian

Dog owners across the region are being warned of the rise of a potentially deadly disease for their pets.

Vets are being asked to report if they treat a dog with suspected Alabama Rot to help with studies to find a cure.

In the New Forest there have been 17 cases of the disease.

Drivers who run down New Forest animals could face cruelty charges

Drivers could face an animal cruelty charges Credit: ITV

Drivers who knock down animals in the New Forest could be prosecuted for animal cruelty unless they phone police straight away.

Ponies, cattle and donkeys have right of way on forest roads, but there has been an increase in hit-and-run accidents.

A reward of £1,000 is being offered to catch the driver who killed two donkeys earlier this month. One of the donkeys was pregnant.

Reward to find driver who killed donkeys

Two donkeys were mowed down in the New Forest on Saturday night Credit: ITV Meridian

A £1000 reward is being offered to find the driver who killed two donkeys in the New Forest.

One of the pet donkeys was pregnant.

Both were mowed down on Saturday night between the Heath roundabout and Beaulieu.

It's believed the car involved was a silver Ford Mondeo.

Volunteers to clean up national park

The New Forest National Park at Lyndhurst Credit: Chris Ison/PA Archive/Press Association Images

Hundreds of volunteers are expected to take part in litter picks across the New Forest this weekend as the Clean for The Queen campaign gets underway.

The national event aims to inspire people to clean-up their communities ahead of Her Majesty's 90th birthday.

Members of the public are invited to Lepe Country Park to help clear litter, which can be harmful to wildlife.

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Girl, 15, dies in New Forest crash

A 15-year-old girl has died after a crash in the New Forest. Police are asking for help from the public.

The accident involved one car, a Mercedes convertible, at around 8.45pm on Tuesday evening in Hordle Lane. The vehicle collided with a tree.

One of the passengers, a 15-year-old girl from Surrey, sustained fatal injuries and was confirmed dead at the scene.

Two other passengers, an eight-year-old and a ten-year-old, were taken to Southampton General Hospital as a precaution and later discharged.

The 34-year-old driver, from Hordle, was uninjured and arrested by officers. Police are in the process of making formal identification and will not be in a position to confirm the name of the teenager who has died until these procedures are completed.

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