UPDATED: 60,000 affected by power cuts amid thunder storm

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Some 60,000 homes and businesses were hit by power cuts as a thunder storm raged above the Fylde coast.

Families getting ready to go to school and work were left in the dark shortly after 8.15am today – though only for a few minutes.

The outages came amid heavy rain, which followed yesterday’s 31 degree weather, the highest temperature recorded in the area for the past decade.

They were blamed on a suspected lightning strike on an Electricity North West tower in Bispham.

A spokeswoman said: “Thunder storms and lightning have caused two power outages in the Blackpool area.

“One outage affected 60,000 customers in the Poulton-le-Fylde, Cleveleys, Thornton and Warbreck area at 8.17am.

“We managed to automatically restore power to all customers within three minutes.”

Around 200 properties in St Annes were also affected, with restoration taking longer there, she added.

By 9.50am, just 28 were waiting for their supply to return to normal, which happened by 11.20am.

The power was restored by staff in Electricity North West’s control room in Manchester, who switched the supply to another part of the network, the spokeswoman added.

Residents across the Fylde reported the power going off for several minutes as they went about their usual morning routine.

House alarms could be heard blaring when it was restored, residents said, while others said their lights continued to flick for a short time afterwards.

Others said their TV, internet, and phone services were also affected.

Fire engines were spotted at Millfield Science and Performing Arts College, in Belvedere Road, Thornton, after alarms went off at 8.44am.

Lancashire Fire and Rescue Service spokesman Richard Edney said no fire was found, and crews left just 10 minutes later.

The school said it sounded as a result of the storm.

At 8.26am, firefighters were called to Sandpiper Court, Buckden Close, Anchorsholme, following reports somebody was trapped in a lift, though they were out by the time crews arrived.

Four minutes later, they received a call from a nursing home near Harrowside West in Clifton Drive, South Shore, to say a pregnant woman was trapped in a lift there too.

Firefighters from South Shore and St Annes stations released her.