England

Power restored after Lancashire and Manchester storms

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Media captionLightning storm in Manchester

Power has been restored to about 20,000 properties left in darkness after torrential storms struck the north west of England.

Tuesday night's deluge caused widespread power cuts in Lancashire and led to the postponement of Manchester City's Champions League game.

Meanwhile, the Metrolink suspended all tram lines due to lightning strikes and Manchester Airport was forced to divert incoming flights.

Several flood warnings remain in place.

They include parts of Manchester, with Fallowfield, Chorlton-cum-Hardy and Cheetham Hill among the areas affected.

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Image caption Huge streaks of lightning could be seen above Manchester City's Etihad stadium
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Image caption The torrential downpour meant the club's Champions League match against Borussia Mönchengladbach was abandoned
Image copyright Sophie Preston
Image caption Lightning flashes through the Manchester sky behind the Palace Hotel
Image copyright Jaybers
Image caption Manchester's Metrolink system was suspended during the storms

Electricity North West said homes in Colne, Burnley and Nelson were affected by the power cut, but supplies were restored overnight.

Greater Manchester Fire and Rescue Service (GMFRS) reported "high numbers" of 999 calls made after the storms hit.

GMFRS said it received 106 calls between 18:30 and 20:00 from people reporting flooding and weather-related issues.

They included a woman and children trapped inside a car in floodwater under a railway bridge in Stockport and electrical faults caused by the excessive rain.

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Media captionMarket Street in Manchester was left in several inches of flood water
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Image caption A car park close to Manchester's Victoria railway station was flooded in the deluge
Image copyright BBC Weather Watchers/Ritas Patch
Image caption Vivid lightning was photographed in Lees, Greater Manchester

Manchester Airport was unable to accept any incoming flights during the height of the storm and had to divert a number of planes to other airports.

Manchester City's Champions League group clash at home to German side Borussia Mönchengladbach was postponed less than half an hour before kick off because of a flooded Etihad Stadium pitch.

It has been rearranged for 19:45 BST on Wednesday.

The cosmetics counters at Manchester's Harvey Nichols department store were also flooded.

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Media captionA motorist in Ramsbottom films lightning using a fixed dashboard camera
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Image caption Flood warnings were issued as the rain continued to fall
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Image caption The lightning was photographed over Stockport

Meteorologist Mark Wilson said there was a lot of rain in a "very short space of time" in the region and a lot of thunder and lightning.

Mr Wilson said: "Prestbury had 32.4mm of rain in an hour - which is pretty exceptional."

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