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Leicestershire clean-up after storms

  • 6-30-2012

A clean-up operation is under way after strong winds, rain and hailstorms caused disruption in Leicestershire.

Buildings and roads were flooded, windows were smashed by giant hailstones and lightning damaged homes and businesses on Thursday afternoon.

It is thought the severe storms were some of the strongest in the county for 30 years.

Sacred Heart Primary School, in Leicester, is still closed this morning after lightning struck the building.

'Dangerous situation'

School head teacher Jerry Hurst said it was a terrifying experience for staff and pupils.

"We had to try and get out, into what was probably a more dangerous situation outside in the end," he said.

"We checked the building and came back in again, but we were soaked, the school alarm was screaming, the lightning, the thunder, it was a very difficult half an hour."

Some schools in the city and county are still closed as staff mop up floodwater.

The emergency services across Leicestershire said they had one of their busiest days of the year.

Leicestershire Fire and Rescue were called out to about 200 incidents in under four hours.

Some people were injured by falling tiles and a person suffered an electric shock through a computer when lightning struck a building in Ibstock.

Two East Midlands ambulances had their windscreens smashed by giant hailstones as they took patients to hospital. The crews have been commended for managing to complete the journey safely.

'Wiped us out'

Mail services in parts of the city could face some disruption after flooding at the Leicester Mail Centre.

Heulyn Gwyn Davies, from Royal Mail, said staff there had worked through the night to clear the damage and get services back to normal.

Alex Wood, from MIND charity furniture shop on Castle Street in Hinckley, said the heavy rain caused the roof to collapse.

"The roof gave way and we were sat in over an inch of water which devastated the shop," he said.

"The electrics off, the interior's been damaged and we've lost most of our stock... this has just wiped us out."

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Reproduced under licence from BBC News © 2012 BBC

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