VIDEO: Chaos as Sussex hit by flash floods and lightning
Lightning strikes and flash flooding this evening (Friday June 17) has caused chaos across Sussex.
Worthing bore the brunt of the bad weather, with West Sussex Fire and Rescue service called to 19 incidents.
Three-quarters of a roof was damaged by fire caused by a lightning strike in Chute Avenue, High Salvington, while lightning also struck a house in Main Road, Fishbourne, at 6.40pm.
Part of the A27 was closed-off in Worthing due to flooding, with two women rescued from their vehicles by firefighters.
Diversions through the town caused long tailbacks along the A27.
The road has now re-opened.
One eyewitness said: “I cruised through Arundel in surprisingly good time but spent the next hour and a half between Crossbush services and Worthing.
“I was diverted by police down Ivydore Avenue, which took 20 minutes to negotiate. It was utter chaos.”
A spokesman for the fire service said three appliances from Worthing and Lancing dealt with the Chute Avenue fire, reported at 5pm.
Crews have since left the scene but are due to return at 12am to reinspect the property.
A post on Worthing Fire Station’s Facebook page read: “If you called us to flooding and we didn’t get there quickly it was because we were dealing with a Fire in the roof of this house in Chute Avenue, Salvington, caused by a lightning strike.
“We also had to rescue two ladies stranded in their car in flood water in the A27 Arundel Road.”
The Fishbourne lightning strike, reported at 6.41pm, blew a hole in the roof of the property but did not cause a fire.
Elsewhere, the fire service was called to High Street at 5.15pm, in East Grinstead, where heavy rain had caused flooding on the highway.