Edinburgh church evacuated after suspected lightning strike as roads and Tesco store flooded

An Edinburgh church was evacuated this afternoon after the building was thought to be struck by lightning, as flooding on the Capital's roads caused major tailbacks.

Wednesday, 7th August 2019, 5:27 pm
St Cuthbert's Church. Pic: Andrew Stuart.

St Cuthbert's Church, just off Lothian Road, was hosting a Fringe performance by the Cambridge University Operatic Society at the time the building was believed to have been hit during this afternoon's freak storm.

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In a tweet posted this afternoon, the church said: "Well done to on duty Church Officer , the Cambridge University Operatic Society and the audience for evacuating St Cuthbert’s which was struck by lightning. Thank you to Fire Service for quick response and declaring building safe. The show goes on!"

St Cuthbert's Church. Pic: Andrew Stuart.

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A Scottish Fire and Rescue Service spokeswoman said firefighters were called to the church following a suspected lightning strike at about 3:30pm but she was unable to provide any further details.

The heavy downpour hit the Capital this afternoon on the second day of Met Office weather warnings for the region. A yellow "be aware" warning for thunderstorms and heavy rain remains in place for the region until 10pm on Wednesday.

Roads in Edinburgh have also been affected by the freak downpour, including all four lanes of the A90 at Cramond Brig according to the council-run Edinburgh Travel News. In a tweet posted at about 4:50pm, they said drivers can expect a one hour travel time between Crewe Toll and Cramond Brig.

Another Edinburgh Travel News tweet at about 5:20pm described most routes through the city centre as "extremely busy" this evening with major delays on roads heading west out of the city.

Flooding on the road by Ratho Park Golf Club. Pic: Lisa Ferguson.

There is also heavy congestion both ways on Ferry Road between Great Junction Street and Victoria Park.

A collision northbound on the Queensferry Crossing is also causing lengthy queues.

A Tesco store in Broughton Road was also closed temporarily due to flooding this afternoon.

A notice posted on the entrance said: "Due to flooding in store we have had to close.

"If you are needing to use the pharmacy please contact 0131 289 0017 and an assistant will come for you."

Met Office forecasters have already warned that there is a chance of power cuts, difficult driving conditions and flooding of homes and businesses.