THE sun might be shining over Brighton and Hove today - but this week five years ago the picture could not have been more different.

In March 2016, Storm Katie battered parts of Sussex, with winds of up to 70 mph and torrential rain causing damage to property and disrupting public transport.

The two-day storm, which hit on March 27, caused destruction across the county with the clean-up operation lasting for days afterwards.

The Argus: Beach huts on Hove seafront were destroyed by strong winds. Picture by David McHughBeach huts on Hove seafront were destroyed by strong winds. Picture by David McHugh

In stark contrast, yesterday people gathered on Brighton and Hove seafront to enjoy the blue skies and sunshine as national lockdown restrictions were eased.

However, during Storm Katie it was the seafront bore the brunt of the extreme conditions.

On March 28, The Met Office tweeted that gusts of 77mph had been recorded at Berry Head and The Needles saw winds of 87mph.

The Argus:

More than 17 trees fell down across the county and amber weather warning for wind were issued across the South East.

Railway services were cancelled and incoming flights to Gatwick’s north terminal were diverted.

Next to the King Alfred Leisure Centre on Hove seafront, ten beach huts had been blown over and some were completely destroyed.

The Argus: Brian Capron pictured in 2016 alongside his collapsed beach hutBrian Capron pictured in 2016 alongside his collapsed beach hut

A hut belonging to Coronation Street star Brian Capron was one of properties that were completely destroyed when Storm Katie hit.

On March 30, 2016, The Argus reported that the soap star’s hut, which was close to the King Alfred Leisure Centre in Hove, was reduced to smithereens by the gale force winds.

Brian estimated that the total cost of repairs on the hut, which he bought for just £800 in 2000, would be around £3,500

Elsewhere in Sussex, the roof of the Dunelm homeware store in Eastbourne was blown off.

The Argus reported that emergency services received more than 600 calls from across Sussex the storm battered the county, but there were no reports of injuries.

This time around, people in Sussex can expect this current spell of sunny weather to last until the end of the week.

The weather service's chief meteorologist Steve Ramsdale, said: "The UK will see a few days of notably warm weather to end March, with a maximum of 24C on Wednesday in the south and east of England.”