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Cost of lightning bolt runs into thousands

WH 010414 Neil Read - electrics damaged by lighning bolt at 14 - 16 Selden Road, Worthing. Photo by Derek Martin SUS-140104-173339001

WH 010414 Neil Read - electrics damaged by lighning bolt at 14 - 16 Selden Road, Worthing. Photo by Derek Martin SUS-140104-173339001

A WORTHING charity suffered damages of more than £5,000 as a result of a thunderbolt last week.

Properties in Selden Road, Worthing, were affected by a series of lightning strikes shortly before 8pm 
on Thursday.

One of those was a 25-bed residential recovery project property owned by Worthing Churches Homeless Projects, which accommodates people who have been homeless and struggle with substance misuse issues.

Community fundraiser Rachel Blair said: “The project suffered severe damage to audio visual equipment for both communal and personal resident use as well as damage to the CCTV system.

“The fire alarm system was rendered unusable as a result of the power surge caused by the strike and the system had to be replaced as a matter of urgency with the delivery of some parts still yet to come.

“The nurse call system has also been put out of action by the strike and will also need fixing as a matter of urgency in case a resident undergoing a detox or struggling with their recovery plan needs 
urgent assistance.

“A member of staff, Linda Astle, was using one of the office computers when the strike happened and her computer fell victim to the power surge.

“Several computers in the building have been written off and replacements will need to be found.

“This is very frustrating in that it was so unexpected and the money has to be found.

“As we are a charity, we do not know what our regular income is, so this is a blow.”

Firefighters received calls from Farncombe Road, Church Walk, Selden Road and Cranworth Road between 7.53pm and 8.47pm.

Several residents reported problems with electrical equipment as the lightning caused surges in the local electricity supply.

Vincent Fennessy, of Broadwater, said: “I was upstairs when a huge flash like a bomb explosion flashed through the blinds, then the loudest bang I’ve ever heard that lasted for about five seconds.

“The windows were shaking, I thought they were going to break. Our internet and TV was down for two hours. I genuinely thought it was a bomb.”

 

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