Dramatic weather causes power cuts, Marwell Zoo damage and travel disruption at Gatwick Airport

  • Passenger stuck on plane at Gatwick for two hours record lightning strike

Stormy weather has caused power outages and travel disruption across the South East.

Last night, Gatwick Airport passengers reported sitting on the tarmac for several hours with the poor conditions leading to the introduction of air traffic control measures.

Travel provider Inrix reported thunderstorms affecting arrivals and departures with 'heavy rainfall' being blamed.

One passenger Tweeted, "we have been stuck on EZY6557 for over 3 hours at Gate 16. Flight now 6 hours late. Our crew is calling for jetway to be connected so ppl can leave and nobody is answering. There are kids and babies on board here."

Another said, "we have now been on flight EZY8838 for 8hours. Pilot unable to reach anyone at DHL to get us off the plane. We sat on the tarmac for 1hr prior to flight and 2hrs after. Small children and elderly people left sitting for hours!"

The airport said, “Air traffic control restrictions have been put in place across the UK due to poor weather conditions. Flights will unfortunately be delayed and cancelled this evening. Please check the status of your flight with your airline.”

Disruption across roads and railways has continued this morning with lane closures on M25, at J10 due to surface water flooding.

South Western Railway services are suspended between Wimbledon and Effingham Junction due to problems with signals between Leatherhead and Bookham.

  • A blustery end to the day in Haywards Heath. Credit: David Wilding

The electricity supply for hundreds of homes in Sussex has been affected by the heavy, thundery and windy downpours.

Problems affected people in and around Hastings, Shoreham, Haywards Heath, Hurstpierpoint and Burgess Hill.

UK Power Networks blame the problems on faulty electricity cabling both overhead and underground.

In the New Forest there's reported damage to tress with one resident capturing what they suspect to be a mini-tornado.

  • Video from Stacey Kirby

Marwell Zoo near Winchester is urging people to visit on Monday if they have tickets following damage to its car park.

In a statement online, the attraction said,

"After sudden and extremely high winds earlier this afternoon (Sunday 23 October), we have unfortunately suffered damage to our car park and will have limited parking at the zoo tomorrow.

"Thankfully, the rest of the zoo is undamaged, and our animals and staff are also safe. Thank you for your understanding, and we hope to see you soon!"

Meanwhile, disruption is continuing on the South Western Railway network with the operator warning of problems until the end of Sunday. A tweet said, “Due to major disruption on our network this evening, customers have been authorised to source taxis and claim the cost of this back through our customer service team.”

Trees blocked the train line between Salisbury and Romsey, at Leatherhead, between Whitchurch and Overton.

The Met Office had warned of bad weather having issued a yellow weather warning.

On Sunday morning, people captured impressive photos of dramatic lighting strikes across Southern England.