Severe storms leave 19,000 premises in the dark

Cracking shot: This great shot was captured by local resident Trent Boyd at Windmill Downs.
Cracking shot: This great shot was captured by local resident Trent Boyd at Windmill Downs.

Severe thunderstorms on Tuesday night and Wednesday morning didn’t just put on a show for residents of the New England North West, but also threw many neighbourhoods into darkness as lightning strikes brought down power grids all over the northern part of the state.

Around 19,000 households were left without power due to the lightning strikes, which were also a major concern to the Rural Fire Service.

Doesn't strike twice: Jo Anne Hester's shot of two identical bolts side by side is something to behold.

Doesn't strike twice: Jo Anne Hester's shot of two identical bolts side by side is something to behold.

Essential Energy Manager Community Relations David Crough said that the violent storm had kept crews busy right into Wednesday afternoon.

Just before 6.30am on Wednesday a lightning strike to a substation saw the majority of Nundle, Dungowan, Woolomin, Niangala and surrounding areas thrown into darkness, with 939 premises impacted.

“The Nundle zone substation was hit by lightning causing damage to network equipment which had to be repaired prior to power being restored at 1.50pm,” Mr Crough said.

A lightning strike was also responsible for a power outage to 963 homes in the Moonbi Kootingal area just after 7am.

Thunders struck: This magnificent shot was taken by Tracey Wilcox on Warral rd looking back towards the Tamworth Airport.

Thunders struck: This magnificent shot was taken by Tracey Wilcox on Warral rd looking back towards the Tamworth Airport.

“A lightning strike caused damage to a transformer, which crews isolated so that power could be restored progressively to 897 customers between 10.29am and 11.08am,” he said.

Severe storms have left 2601 premises without power overnight in the Tamworth region, after damaging winds and lightning strikes took it’s toll across most of northern NSW.

The areas around Tamworth impacted by the power outages.

The areas around Tamworth impacted by the power outages.

Other impacted areas include a long strip from West Tamworth stretching to Quirindi, as well as a small section of Werris Creek, although it was the New England that was hardest hit.

“Shortly after 11pm Tuesday evening, it is believed a lightning strike on the electricity network between Uralla and Walcha caused an unplanned power outage for more than 16,500 customers in Armidale, Uralla, Walcha and Hillgrove.”

The entire north east of the state was smashed by over 50 outages due to lightning strikes.

The entire north east of the state was smashed by over 50 outages due to lightning strikes.

“In conjunction with TransGrid, our crews worked as quickly as safety allowed to identify the problem and then progressively restore power for customers. Power was restored to Armidale and Hillgrove by approximately 12.20am Wednesday morning and to Uralla and Walcha by 2.45am.”

The New England also missed out on the rain, although the Tamworth Airport recorded 16.4mm overnight, the first decent recorded fall of the year.