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Last Updated: Friday, 18 August 2006, 18:32 GMT 19:32 UK
Bad weather hits much of England
Tornado in Leamington (photo courtesy of Nicky Stalker)
A tornado was seen near homes in Leamington in Warwickshire
Unseasonable bad weather has hit several parts of England, with tornados, flooding and lightning strikes in various regions.

Five students were injured when a portable building they were in was lifted into the air in Lincolnshire.

More tornados were spotted over Warwickshire and Cornwall, there was flooding in Bristol and trains in York were disrupted by a lightning strike.

The bad weather comes just weeks after England's hottest July on record.

Televisions blown up

The BBC Weather Centre said Bingley in Bradford was the wettest place in England on Thursday with 1.52in (3.85cm) of rain during the day, but many places had around 0.4in (1cm) in just an hour.

An isolated 15-minute downpour near Penzance in Cornwall on Thursday evening caused a wave of mud, grit and water which fire crews had to clear with high-powered hoses.

Tornado in Thurlby (photo courtesy of Marguerite Cullen)
The tornado in Lincolnshire dragged a portable building into the air

The Consumer Council for Water was warning customers in the South, East Anglia and Midlands that heavy rain could cause flooding if sewerage systems filled with water.

Thousands of commuters were facing delays after lightning struck the signalling system at York just before the Friday morning rush hour, with both local trains and services to London and Edinburgh affected.

Parts of Barnsley Hospital in South Yorkshire were forced to close on Thursday afternoon after flooding in the accident and emergency and radiology deparments.

A care home in Greater Manchester was evacuated on Thursday afternoon when a bolt of lightning struck a chimney, causing it to collapse, cutting electricity supplies and blowing up eight televisions.

Twenty people had to be evacuated from their homes in Weston-super-Mare in Somerset after a nearby electricity substation was struck by lightning, caught fire and exploded.

'Hectic day'

Ten houses in Ross-on-Wye, Herefordshire, were struck by lightning but there were no reports of injuries.

The tornado in Lincolnshire hit an area where archaeologists and archaeology students were working inside a sand and gravel pit at Baston, near the Cambridgeshire border.

Flood at Buryas Bridge (Picture courtesy of Nigel Heywood)
Heavy rain flooded roads at Buryas Bridge in Cornwall

The building was lifted into the air and dragged 70ft - four people were taken to Peterborough Hospital with minor injuries.

The tornado seen over Warwickshire during the Thursday evening rush hour, lasted a few minutes according to witnesses in areas around Warwick and Leamington Spa.

A far more severe tornado caused substantial damage in nearby Birmingham in August 2005.

Julie Barwell of Breague, in west Cornwall saw a tornado come close to the ground twice before disappearing.

"It was a very thick tunnel to start off with and it got narrow and narrower and came down but it didn't touch the ground.

"If it had been in the other direction it would have come right above us."

A downpour caused a wave of mud and water near Penzance on Thursday forcing 20 householders to bail out their front gardens while fire crews cleared roads.

The BBC Weather Centre said Thursday was "a hectic day" with vicious storms and torrential downpours.

Rain is expected to continue into the weekend, with the test match between England and Pakistan at the Oval in London, and the V Festival on twin sites in Staffordshire and Essex among events which could be affected.




VIDEO AND AUDIO NEWS
Watch footage of a tornado sweeping over Warwickshire



SEE ALSO
Five students injured in tornado
18 Aug 06 |  Lincolnshire
Lightning strikes at a care home
18 Aug 06 |  Manchester
Lightning causes train disruption
18 Aug 06 |  North Yorkshire
City flooded by torrential rain
18 Aug 06 |  Bristol/Somerset
Houses hit by lightning strikes
18 Aug 06 |  Hereford/Worcs
Tornado seen in Midlands' skies
17 Aug 06 |  Coventry/Warwickshire

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