LIGHTNING struck a house in Prestonpans and streets across East Lothian were left underwater as the county took a battering from the elements on Saturday.

Torrential rain led to flooding in many parts of the county, with floodwaters just minutes away from flowing into homes before subsiding just in time.

In Prestonpans, the police and fire service rushed to Dolphingstone View after a two-storey terraced house was struck by several bolts of lightning, causing a ruptured gas main and a fire in the roof at 8pm on Saturday evening.

Fire engines from Dalkeith, Tollcross, Musselburgh and McDonald Road in Edinburgh were called out to the scene, along with police.

Amanda Milne lives next door to the house that was struck by the lightning.

She told the Courier: “The strike set fire to their attic and also the gas box that we all have outside our front doors.

“We knew when the lightning struck that it hit something nearby as it lit up the sky and went out with a huge bang louder than the rest of them.

“Our power went off straight away and at that point it was quite scary, especially with a petrified toddler and dog.”

Amanda’s partner, Murray McKeown, took her and 17-month-old Ollie to his mother’s house as they were evacuated from their home when the fire engines arrived.

She added: “My partner got us in the car and drove us somewhere safe until the firefighters put the fire out and the gas men had done their checks. My partner was at the house the whole time, along with the two other households affected.

“We must have been out of the house for two to three hours in total before we got permission to go back in.”

The Scottish Fire and Rescue Service confirmed that nobody was hurt in the incident.

The moment the bolt of lightning struck was captured on camera by resident Cara Millar (see video below).

She said: “I knew it was going to be a big storm, so I grabbed the phone to film it.

“I was amazed when I saw the strike, it’s normally something you only see abroad in warmer climates.

“I’m a big fan of thunder and lightning storms.”

Elsewhere, the downpour, which covered most of the county, saw a number of roads flooded, with East Lothian Council called out to Tranent, Musselburgh, Humbie and Macmerry.

Fortunately, most properties escaped with no damage, but one Macmerry resident told how he feared that half an hour more rain could have had a different result.

Dougie Neil, vice-chairman of the village’s community council, lives on Macmerry’s St Germains Terrace.

He told the Courier: “It wasn’t as bad as it was two years ago. However, if the rain continued for about half an hour it would have been in the houses.

“The council have been out and been looking.  “People say ‘it’s not happened for two years’ but it’s happened again and nothing has been done.

“The main road gets flooded all the time and you can see the water bubbling up out of the grass in people’s gardens.

“The council are talking to the people involved and are trying to help numbers 13 to 16 and 17.

“The council and water board need to get together and talk about it.”

One man who also lives on the street said that flooding was a recurring problem there.

Previously, his back garden was flooded; water also reached his front door and started coming inside.

He told the Courier: “Flooding certainly has happened.  “It’s a recurring problem, every time there is heavy rain it floods the area. Everyone knows there is a problem but nothing is ever done.

“It only takes one bad downpour and it causes people to go out of their houses because water is coming through their front door.  “People have had to stay in hotels before because their houses are so badly damaged.

“It’s not just thunderstorms, even just rainfall causes houses to flood.

“I have a drain right outside my front door at the bottom of my drive. When the drain gets full and overflows, I’m the first one hit.

“Another problem is the sewage drain which is in my back garden, so when that overflows you can only imagine what happens.

“They need to sort the drains out, there’s certainly a capacity issue with them and because it’s a combined effort and liability on both sides one keeps blaming the other.

“Additional drains do help but won’t solve it. They could increase the capacity and the volume the drains could take.”

Flooding also caused issues in Tranent, with a busy road underwater.

Robert McNeill, who is a member of the town’s community council, said: “We have written to East Lothian Council about the issue with the part of Tranent Mains Road by the cemetery, it is very difficult to pass in heavy rainfall, which recently has been an ongoing problem.

“We think it is a drainage issue that we are hoping to get sorted soon.”

Meanwhile, Sandy Wilson, who is an elder at Humbie Parish Church, said that there had been 40 minutes of monsoon-like conditions but fortunately the historic church was not too badly affected.

He said: “Water came into the church but flooding gives a vision of something sitting in water.

Ingressed slightly “It only ingressed slightly into the body of the church as it were and a few attempts with the mop to mop it up took care of it.”

Discussions between the church elder and East Lothian Council have already taken place, with representatives of the local authority’s landscape and countryside team visiting the church on Tuesday.

A site visit could also take place to see what could be done to prevent history repeating itself.

Mr Wilson noted that the path from the roadway to the church sloped towards the building, which meant water flowed down it.

He added: “We’ve never seen rain quite like it in the two years we have been here.

“There was no let-up at all; we live at Shillinghill and the water was pouring down like a river.

“It was quite dramatic but there was no lasting damage to the church.”

A spokeswoman for East Lothian Council said they had been in regular contact with SEPA and the Met Office to monitor the rainfall and the expected impact.

She said: “Our contact centre received a number of calls from 7pm until 10.30pm regarding surface water flooding on Saturday.

“Our emergency roads team were out in the county with gully motors and sandbags responding to reports.

“This included callouts to Humbie, Tranent, Macmerry and Musselburgh.

“We are aware that at least one property in the county had water ingress.

“A number of small, local events were cancelled due to the weather conditions.

“However, the majority of events in East Lothian continued as planned, including the Ladies Scottish Open golf and North Berwick Highland Games. All events in East Lothian progressed safely.

“We work with partners to prepare for, monitor and respond to flood incidents and have also been working closely with communities across East Lothian to build resilience in the event of flooding or other adverse conditions. These plans served us well once again.”