Lightning strikes and flooding across Belgium

Torrential rain and thundery showers were Belgium’s lot last night. The Met Office had issued a Code Orange weather warning, but it seems Belgium escaped the bad weather with little damage.

There were fears the heavy downpours could lead to localised flooding, while there were worries hail and lightning strikes could inflict considerable damage.  This was the case here and there, but all in all Belgium has been relatively fortunate.

Flooding on the E40 motorway in Haasrode and on the E314 in Herent triggered road accidents and congestion.  One person was injured on the E40, while there was only material damage at Herent. Fire services in Brussels and Leuven received scores of calls about flooded cellars.  In Brussels Anderlecht and Schaarbeek bore the brunt of the trouble. The Kunst/Wet and Stefania road tunnels needed to be closed for a while to allow the fire service to pump out excess water.

In Waasmunster (East Flanders) lightning struck a house blowing away the side of the building (photo top).  Several neighbouring houses too were damaged.

In Ichtegem (West Flanders) lightning struck a farm.  The upper floor was gutted by fire.  Fortunately the residents were able to escape.  A woman suffered burns to her leg and had to be hospitalised.

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In Wallonia the 24 Hours of Spa-Francorchamps race had to be halted for a while this morning.  Yesterday too the race was disrupted as a result of the torrential rain. A BMW car was involved in a serious accident.