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Fourth person hit by lightning

January 20, 2012

thewest

Havoc as thunderstorm hits PerthRoss Cox © Enlarge photo

Update, 4.45pm: A fourth person has been struck by lightning, after a severe thunderstorm swept over the city this morning.

The storm ripped through the south metro area this morning, causing havoc with the power supply, bringing down branches and causing minor flooding.

A warning was issued for the Perth metro area as the storm shifted north.

People in areas bound by Lancelin, Northam and Narrogin were told to prepare for damaging winds, heavy rainfall and possible hail.

Multiple thunderstorms are expected to hit Perth this afternoon following intense lightning early this morning.

There were just over 8300 lightning strikes between 12am to 2:30pm within a 600km radius of Perth yesterday, according to local weather-watcher Tom Marsh, who uploads minute-to minute updates at www.tkup.net from his Floreat weather station.

The peak rate was 95 strikes a minute at 7.14am, including strikes between clouds as well as from clouds to ground, he said.

Weather bureau forecaster Nadine Baillard said while the storms were easing off for now, higher temperatures would see them build up again this afternoon.

One person was hit by lightning at 4am on Wyeree Road in Mandurah and was taken to Peel Health Campus and a second person was struck at 4:30am on Brennan Promenade in Baldivis. He was taken to Rockingham Hospital.

A third person was taken to hospital by ambulance after he was struck at about 9am.

The 42-year-old man was working at Hertz in Welshpool when the whole office reported hearing a massive crack from outside the yard’s workshop, a colleague said.

They found the man lying on the ground and shaking. The colleague said it was believed he had not been directly struck.

Another man was admitted to Royal Perth Hospital just before midday following an indirect lightening strike, but was in a stable condition, a hospital spokesperson said.

The weather caused delays at Perth Airport, with passengers waiting up to an hour for flights.

A flight to Broome was cancelled after the aircraft which was being flown from Kalgoorlie had to turn back due to the weather in Perth.

Thousands of homes were without power this morning as lightning strikes brought down the network in and around Mandurah.

By 9.30am 22,000 customers were without power. The areas of greatest impact are in the south metropolitan region.

More than 5000 customers were with out power in Mandurah, 5000 in Bibra Lake and more that 2500 in Dawesville. Other major areas affected include; Kalamunda, Murdoch, Hazelmere and Mundaring.

Western Power crews are attending and it is expected that power will be restored throughout the morning however it is likely other areas will be affect as the lightning storm progresses south.

Did you take pictures of the storm? Send them in or MMS 0402 228 221.

The State Emergency Service received 80 calls for assistance, mainly from Mandurah Rockingham and the Swan region.

Stoneville Shopping Centre has reported flooding and the PCYC in Rockingham has sustained some roof damage, according to a FESA spokesperson.

Minor flooding on roads saw traffic slow to a crawl in parts of the metro area.

Morning commuters faced delays on train services, with Mandurah and Joondalup lines delayed by up to 25 minutes.

The view from Mosman Park. Picture: William Parkinson

 

Westbound lanes on Great Eastern Highway are flooded between Grancey Avenue and Mann Street in Mundaring and Roe Highway is flooded around Berkshire Road in Forrestfield.

A house was reportedly struck by lightning this morning in France Street in Mandurah this morning, but did not catch fire.

Mandurah received a soaking this morning, recording 52.6ml rainfall, most of which fell between 5:30am and 7:40am.

Bickley recorded 23mm this morning over a similar period.

The Fire and Emergency Services Authority have warned people to secure all loose items, move vehicles under cover and stay inside away from windows. People are also advised to unplug electrical appliances and avoid using landline telephones if there is lightning.

Picture: Ross Cox

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