WATCH: Storms knocked out power to 40,000 homes – and more predicted despite continuing heatwave

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Up to 40,000 of North East homes were left without power after dramatic storms struck on what had been the hottest day of the year.

Northern Powergrid reported it had to restore supplies to customers in Tyne and Wear, County Durham and Northumberland – with 7,500 remaining unconnected as of last night.

No injuries were reported during the storms, despite a number of properties being hit by lightning strikes.

Durham County Cricket Club was among those affected, losing its power and landline phone system.

“The storms caused damage to the overhead electricity network and resulted in power cuts for around 40,000 customers,” said a spokesman for Northern Powergrid last night.

“We diverted electricity supplies, where possible, through alternative routes to restore power to as many customers as possible while engineers worked to repair the damage.

“Our engineers are continuing their work to restore the remaining 7,500 customers still affected.”

Trains were disrupted on some services after lightning strikes caused signalling problems between Newcastle and York.

In parts of County Durham there were reports of hail stones the size of golfballs causing damage to cars.

The sunny weather has returned this morning and is expected to continue, but more storms are predicted in the coming days.