MORE than 7000 households and businesses across the region lost power after storms swept through on Monday afternoon.
Inverell was hardest hit with 3500 properties in and around the town affected.
The storms started causing problems with the supply in Attunga, Barraba and Manilla about 3pm and then moved across the region affecting Bendemeer, Boggabri, Inverell, Kootingal, Tamworth, Texas and surrounding areas.
Essential Energy northern regional manager Ben Williams said direct lightning strikes were the biggest problem and in Inverell this included the destruction of a major transformer near the Royal Hotel just after 5.20pm.
He said local crews responded immediately and were able to restore power to almost 1500 properties in the area in less than an hour.
Power was restored to a further 1900 households and businesses about 7.30pm, but after further problems developed from the storm, crews switched power off to these customers again just after 9pm.
Power to all affected Inverell area customers was restored just before midnight.
In other areas crews had the majority of properties back on line within an hour, and by 7am yesterday, all but 60 customers had had power restored.
The majority of those had power again by 3pm yesterday.
The tablelands received the majority of the rain for the region in Monday’s storms, Inverell with 26mm, Glen Innes with 11mm and Armidale 7mm. The highest recorded fall in Tamworth was 4mm.