I’ve been living in Townsville for 18 months. I’ve complained, pretty persistently, that there are never any good thunderstorms; and honestly, there has barely been a clap of thunder to speak of for a year and a half. That changed today.
Townsville was lashed by a huge electrical storm during the morning. Power outages were reported across Townsville. Trees were uprooted, traffic lights were affected and 5,000 households lost power.
While emergency services were still fixing damage from the morning, The Bureau of Meteorology issued another severe thunderstorm warning at 8:52. The second storm was even bigger, and 10,000 homes lost power.
I was fortunate enough to be able in a great location to record some of the storm — from a marina at Townsville Port. However, even though the footage I got shows some great highlights of the storm, there were even louder strikes and claps of thunder; many happening seconds after each other. The storm actually intensified even more than what I recorded. The rain was so heavy, I didn’t want to have my camera recording as I ran to the car from the marina building.
As I ran through the car park, which took about 20 seconds, through pelting rain, I saw no less than several streaks of lightning forking to the ground, literally only a few hundred meters away, completely illuminating everything as if it were day time. The crashing sound was deafening as I fumbled to get into the car seat.
I know that once you’re in a car, you’re pretty safe — because if lighting hits a car, it just passes through the body into the ground, and anyone inside will be fine. So I felt much better once I was in the car. There was so much lighting all around me, I was petrified of being struck, but I had to get to my car, as the storm shows no sign of letting up — so I legged it! I really love storms, but this was EXTREMELY frightening, even for me! I’ve never fumbled so much trying to get in a car ion my life!
Driving home, the lightning was relentless. I literally saw no less than several hundred strikes during the 20 minute drive home, and many of them were either directly in front of the car or straight to the side! I did feel much safer being in the car though. This was one of the coolest drives I have ever had in a car; absolutely amazing. I will never forget it.
More storms are forecast for tomorrow and even the next several days. I won’t complain if we get a few more storms like this. They are exciting! They get the heart racing; some adrenaline pumping! Townsville needs the rain anyway. I’ll be at the marina again tomorrow evening. I will record the storm again if we get another one tomorrow. I hope we do!