Primary school in Devon evacuated after building is struck by lightning

12:39pm, Wed 08 Sep 2021
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A primary school had to be evacuated after being struck by lighting in thunderstorms that caused flash flooding and disruption in Devon.

Devon and Somerset Fire and Rescue Service was called to Mount Street Primary School in Plymouth at 9.57am on Wednesday to carry out safety checks.

It confirmed that lightning had hit the side of the school building and tripped the alarm, but there was no fire and no injuries.

Mount Street Primary School told parents that all children were safe, but asked for them to be collected as their clothing was wet from the heavy rain.

Thunderstorms also caused flash flooding in the seaside town of Salcombe, where police said dozens of businesses had been affected.

Videos posted on social media showed water in the main shopping street of the town.

The Met Office issued a yellow weather warning for thunderstorms in the area on Wednesday, warning that homes and businesses could be flooded.

It added: “Spray and sudden flooding could lead to difficult driving conditions and some road closures.

“Where flooding or lightning strikes occur, there is a chance of delays and some cancellations to train and bus services.

There is a small chance that some communities become cut off by flooded roads.

“There is a slight chance that power cuts could occur and other services to some homes and businesses could be lost.”

In a message to parents posted on Facebook, Mount Street Primary School and Nursery confirmed that the school had to evacuate during the heavy storm.

It said the telephone communications and internet system had been affected by the lightning strike.

“All children are safe, however they are wet,” the school said.

“Please can you arrange collection from the school office as soon as possible.

“The fire brigade attended the site and all safety checks are clear.”

The school added that pupils could return at 1.30pm on Wednesday, or on Thursday morning.

A spokeswoman for Devon and Somerset Fire and Rescue Service confirmed that it received a call at 9.57am on Wednesday.

Crews were sent to the scene, where lightning had “hit the building of the school and tripped the alarm”.

“There was no fire at the scene,” she said.

Pc Emma Buley, of Devon and Cornwall Police, tweeted a video showing flooding on Fore Street in Salcombe.

“Flash floods in Salcombe this morning has affected dozens of businesses. Please be careful driving if you get caught in the rain today,” she tweeted.

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