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LIGHTNING Huge lightning storm hits Tameside – the big clean-up begins


Storm clouds gather in Ashton, left, at around 6pm tonight. Asda Ashton closes to public as store floods with shoppers evacuated


A massive clean-up operation is underway across Tameside and Greater Manchester after flash floods and a lightning storm hit the area early this evening.

Emergency services have been inundated with calls after the storm, which saw torrential downpours for around an hour, leaving drains unable to cope with the volume of water.

In a 90 minute period across Greater Manchester 106 calls were made to the fire service by people reporting flooding and weather related issues.

The entire Metrolink network has been suspended after being knocked out of action by lightening strikes.

Asda Ashton was just one business badly affected, with much of the newly revamped store totally flooded.

The scene at ASDA in Ashton last night. Footage courtesy of Mike Halligan.

Shoppers were evacuated and the store was closed to the public this evening with a huge clean-up underway, with fire crews arriving to help in the mop up.

The petrol station was knocked out of action too through an electrical fault caused by the storm.

The Village Club and Restaurant on Captain Clarke Road in Hyde was also hit by the downpour, with fire crews attending the venue after electrics were affected by water.

One fire engine was sent to the scene.

Businesses in the city centre were left completely awash.

Elsewhere flash floods caused travel chaos on rail, road and even air, with flights from Manchester airport delayed.

Firefighters were called to rescue one woman and a child trapped inside a car in flood water under a railway bridge on Crossley Road in Stockport.

On arrival they found the woman and a boy were out of the car.  North West Ambulance Service attended the incident to take care of the woman and youngster.

In Tameside New Charter Housing said it too was inundated by calls from residents following the storm.

The Tameside Reporter and Tameside Radio offices did not escape the deluge, with workers working into the night with mop and bucket in hand to clear the floodwaters from the offices.

In sport, Manchester City’s Champion’s League game was postponed tonight as a result of the storm, but Hyde’s game on their new artificial pitch against Glossop in the Doodson League Cup survived the weather.

Stalybridge Celtic had managed to reach Harrogate for their league game after it was switched from Stalybridge only last night to Harrogate.

The violent storm followed one of the hottest September days on record.