ABOUT 5200 homes and businesses on the Northern Tablelands had their power supplies cut after stormy weather yesterday.
More than 4100 premises in Ashford, Bingara, Texas, Wallangara, Warialda, Yallaroi and surrounding areas were affected after a lightning strike hit a powerpole near Inverell just before midday.
Just over 3000 homes and businesses had their power restored by 3pm and crews aimed to have the remaining premises reconnected by 5pm.
At Bingara, residents reported a blackout for five hours and most of the town’s shops had to close, although a secondhand store that uses natural light was the shining light in the main street.
At one pub, the drinkers reported they battled on, although by the end the beer was getting a bit warm.
Not long after midday storms caused more troubles in Inverell, interrupting power to 326 homes and businesses for more than an hour.
“The power network switched itself off after sensing a problem and there were also reports from customers of a large bang,” Essential Energy regional general manager Matt Patterson said.
“We suspect it was a lightning strike, but our crews inspected the entire powerline and were unable to find any damage.”
At 12.30pm another lightning strike shut off power to more than 700 Armidale premises for about 15 minutes.