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Huge thunderstorm hits the South West coast

Lightning strikes over Laira, Plymouth. Credit: Rachael Jackson

Thunder storms forming off the South West coast have hit towns and cities across Devon and Cornwall.

Paul McDonnell captured this footage in Plymouth this afternoon.

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A severe weather warning comes into force from 4pm this afternoon.

This live lightning map shows where any bolt of lightning is detected. Credit: lightningmaps.org

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Lightning strikes Cornish lookout

The coastwatch lookout was struck by lightning which broke the door. Credit: ITV News

The bad weather made it a New Year to remember at a National Coastwatch station in Boscastle - when the building was struck by lightning.

Cables were torn out of their sockets in the Boscastle building. Credit: ITV News

A hole blasted through stonework and the flagpole was ripped off the wall.

Andy Salmon, one of the Coastwatch Officers keeping watch on the day, describes the moment the lightning struck.

Andy and his watch-keeping colleague on duty both escaped without injury.

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Flash floods close Wiltshire roads and schools

People in Wiltshire are cleaning up after flash floods overnight. The county's fire service said it received more than 200 calls. Homes and businesses were affected. Roads were shut and a school near Corsham was also closed.

A lightning strike damaged a house in Melksham. And an Intercity train became stuck in deep water on the line. Ninety people were evacuated. The train is still blocking the route between Bath and Chippenham.

Station Manager Wayne Jones from Wiltshire Fire and Rescue Service says they have had a busy night.

Rail services hit after storms

Overnight storms have led to problems on the roads and railways Credit: Lee Wilson

Overnight storms have led to yet another day of difficulty for commuters with lightning strikes meaning disruption to rail services.

A weather warning remains in place, with heavy showers and more thunderstorms expected.

On the railways, First Great Western services are affected by storms in the Bath Spa area. Lightning damaged equipment between Melksham and Chippenham in Wiltshire, with the lines between Swindon and Bath Spa/Westbury currently closed.

A shuttle train service is now in place between Chippenham and Swindon.

The Met Office says the bad weather is set to continue. Forecaster Nicola Willis says there was between 10mm and 20mm of rainfall over a four-hour period - a third of the expected monthly rainfall.

She went on: "That is quite a significant amount of rain. There have also been quite a few lightning strikes over that period."

Motorists have been warned of the risk of surface water after the heavy downpours.

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