GIANT hail stones struck North Yorkshire and thunderstorms caused flooding and damage in other parts of the region.

Further downpours are expected to continue some areas this weekend after Friday's extreme weather, which saw hail stones the size of golf balls strike York yesterday, causing damage to property.

As the rail system continued to struggle throughout the day, on Friday, July 27, with delays and cancelled trains caused by a lightening strike hitting the rail signalling system between York and Doncaster, a severe hail storm then arrived in the early evening.

The Northern Echo:

Across the city the sound of the large pieces of ice could be heard clanging and thudding at they hit cars and roof tops. There were reports on social media of the hailstones smashing glass on outdoor tables and greenhouses and even making holes in a plastic conservatory roof. Some tents on display at GoOutdoors were also ripped by the large pieces of hail.

Outdoor events scheduled to take place in the region yesterday also had to be cancelled.

It included the Middlesbrough and Sunderland match at the Riverside Stadium, which was abandoned when torrential rain and thunder arrived.

The Northern Echo:

Thousands of people were also left disappointed when a concert due to be performed by Sir Tom Jones, as part of the York Racecourse’s Music Showcase Weekend, was cancelled minutes before he was due to perform.

The severe thunderstorm meant his helicopter was unable to fly from London to York safely.

It left many fans who had turned up to the racecourse with tickets to the race meeting and concert angry that they had not been told before.

A spokesman for the racecourse said: "The decision was taken after it proved impossible to get Sir Tom to the racecourse given the atrocious weather conditions, with thunder and lightning storms over much of the country during Friday.

"As anyone at the track on Friday evening will know, the weather closed in, with a series of storms hitting the course. More significantly similar storms blocked the route of both helicopters and fixed wing aircraft between his London home and Yorkshire. York Racecourse and Sir Tom wish to apologise to his fans for this disappointment and understand the inconvenience caused."

The Northern Echo:

The heavy downpours also caused havoc to other buildings and roads as drains and gutters were unable to cope with the volume of water.

Some racegoers also reported that part of the roof collapsed under the rain at the Ebor Restaurant at York Racecourse during the torrential downpour.

At 6.20pm fire crews were called to Monks Cross Shopping Centre, on the eastern outskirts of York, to reports that part of the ceiling had collapsed in one of the commercial premises and was affecting the electrics.

Fire crews isolated the electrics and helped staff in salvaging property.

Ten minutes later, at 6.30pm, fire crews advised a business in York to evacuate its building, after water flooded in through the ceiling.

The fire crew had been called to the premises on Windmill Lane near the Heslington area of York, after flood water became coming in through the roof. When fire crews got there, they discovered water was affecting the electrics. They isolated the power and advised the building was shut down and evacuated.

Road conditions were also treacherous around the region.

At Foxholes, a village near Flixton off the A64, fire crews had to be called to release two people from their car, after a tree fell onto the vehicle at about 7.45pm. The tree had to be dismantled from the top of the car before they could be released. Luckily both people were uninjured.

Heavy showers are still expected in parts of the North-East and North Yorkshire throughout the day.

On its website, the Met Office said: “There is still low confidence in the location and details of the heaviest rainfall.

“Given the speed at which levels in the faster responding rivers may rise, we may not have time to issue flood warnings before the onset of any flooding. In areas which experience the heaviest downpours it’s likely that there will be localised surface water flooding.

“Please stay aware of your surroundings and do not put yourself at risk.”

Tomorrow (Sunday, July 28), heavy rain is also expected over the hills and coastal gales are possible. The rain is expected to become lighter in the late afternoon, when winds are also expected to ease.