Lightning blew holes in the roof of a Birmingham house and caused thousands of pounds worth of damage as an electrical storm hit the West Midlands today.

Rain lashed the region as the skies turned black amid a storm which saw hundreds of flashes of lightning. One lightning strike blew holes in the roof of a house in South Yardley.

The strike caused thousands of pounds worth of damage to the property belonging to Janet and Bill Groves in Kennerley Road at about 7.30am.

Mrs Groves, aged  52, said she had just got to work at B&Q in Stechford when she heard from Bill, aged 57.

“He is normally very calm in a crisis but said it was bad, so I knew it had to be and came straight home. Some plaster came down on Bill who was checked out by a paramedic. He is badly shaken, but extremely lucky and relieved that he is okay.

“Bill is a painter and decorator and had taken a week off work to paint the outside of the house.  He was going to finish it off this morning but decided not to when he heard the bad weather.

“I can see the sky through the roof. It’s going to be a long job to put it right.”

Ten firefighters from Sheldon were called to the house to carry out salvage work and make the property safe. Electrical and structural engines were later at the scene to assess the damage.

Heavy downpours caused flash flooding in parts of Birmingham and Sutton Coldfield.  Fire crews were also called to Pool Road in Halesowen, after a lamppost was struck by lightning. The lamppost had to be cordoned off after it was left “precariously balanced” against a tree.

Fire stations in the Black Country also reported several call-outs to fire alarms set-off by the thunder.

The stormy weather was expected to clear by early afternoon but a spokesman for the Met Office said there will still be a risk of thundery showers lasting into the evening.