STAR readers have been sending us a selection of images they took during the electrical storm that took hold in St Helens last night.
Among the pictures was this taken by David Henshaw from Billinge, looking towards St Helens, as the storm clouds gathered.
STORM CLOUDS: David Henshaw took this image in Billinge as the storm gathered above St Helens
He said: “The lightning was leaving patches of light in the clouds because it was so bright.”
Meanwhile, Graham Pritchard’s photo, taken from Windle Hall drive, Hard Lane, shows a fork of lightning amid the dark clouds.
Meanwhile, at least two houses were struck by lightning as thunderstorms battered St Helens on Tuesday evening.
Graham Pritchard’s photo, taken from Windle Hall drive, Hard Lane, shows a fork of lightning amid the dark clouds
The electrical storms – accompanied by torrential rain and some hail – saw fork lightning crash down over parts of the town and blasts of thunder.
The storm broke out shortly after 7pm and lasted for more than half an hour.
Merseyside Fire and Rescue Service confirmed they had been called out to two houses in Cumberland Avenue, and Patterdale Drive, Portico which had been struck by lightning.
A spokeswoman for the fire service said: “One house had been struck by lightning, causing a small fire fire in the upstairs bedroom.
“The occupiers had put out the fire prior to calling us but we still went around to carry out a safety inspection and advised for checks to be made by the utility companies and a structural engineer.”
The fire service added on Wednesday that the incidents had not led to any injuries.
Jon Bayliss sent us this image that shows rain radar at about 7.15pm when the storm and lightning struck
Meanwhile, lightning set off alarms in several town centre businesses. A number of Star readers sent picture suggests strikes had damaged roads in Merton Bank.
Such was the intensity of the storms over the town centre that outgoing mayor Andy Bowden – who was entertaining guests in St Helens Town Hall – turned to Twitter to suggest the building may have been struck by a bolt.
Other St Helens residents also commented on the weather via the blogging site, with one joking that it seemed as though the “War of the Worlds was happening over St Helens”.
Numerous readers sent us this picture via Facebook of Merton Bank Road, suggesting it had been split by lightning. St Helens Council did not have a record of the storm causing such damage when contacted this morning.
Another added: “What a thunderstorm we are having in St Helens at the moment! Not had one like this for years. Keep getting blinded and deafened.”
Others wrote: “Wow. Amazing storm over St Helens. Loudest thunder I’ve ever heard.”
A bolt lights up the skies in Thatto Heath in a picture Lisa Preston shared on our Facebook page
STRIKE: Stephen Williams' picture was taken in Sutton Heath