Lucky strike

Central and North Burnett Times - - FRONT PAGE - Noel Thomp­son noel.thomp­son@cnbtimes.com.au

IT WAS lucky the storm hit a week be­fore school started. The pow­er­ful im­pact of the light­ning bolt sent frag­ments of tim­ber fly­ing through the air and through the wall of a build­ing at Mun­dub­bera State School. Prin­ci­pal Peter Townsend wasn’t at school at the time. “The heavy rain and hail pre­vented me from driv­ing,” Mr Townsend said. “It was lucky it was last week in that it gave us time to clean up be­fore the start of term.”

Edna Law I’m not sure if I heard it or saw it first, but it was so loud and the flash was very bright.

A LIGHT­NING bolt that dec­i­mated a tree at Mun­dub­bera State School could have en­dan­gered lives if it came a week later when chil­dren were back at school.

The rip­per storm tore through Mun­dub­bera last Tues­day bring­ing with it high winds, mar­ble-sized hail and cloud-to-ground light­ing strikes.

The light­ning strike came just as clean­ers Edna Law and Pam Tanzer sat down for their af­ter­noon break.

Ms Law said the storm was build­ing up for most of the morn­ing and it sounded its warn­ing for more than an hour be­fore it moved through the town.

“There was a car parked close to the tree when it ex­ploded, but luck­ily it didn’t get dam­aged,” she said.

“There were flames and pieces of wood fly­ing through the air. One piece even put a hole in the ce­ment sheet­ing on one of the nearby build­ings.”

Ms Law said she had never been close to a light­ning strike be­fore and she did not want to be that close again.

“I’m not sure if I heard it or saw it first, but it was so loud and the flash was very bright,” she said.

School prin­ci­pal Peter Townsend said he was not at the school dur­ing the storm.

“The heavy rain and hail pre­vented me from driv­ing,” he said.

“It was lucky that it was last week in that it gave us time to clean up be­fore the start of term.”

As the storm passed through town it sent peo­ple scur­ry­ing to get their cars un­der cover.

Cars were parked un­der shop awnings car­ports and any­where else that could pro­tect them.

Sev­eral peo­ple were hit by hail­stones as they ran to pro­tect their prop­erty.

Ethan, Brittany and Ans­ley Cle­ment live di­rectly across the road from the school and said they were pick­ing up baby birds that had fallen from a nest in the tree.

“We are go­ing to try to save th­ese lit­tle birds,” Brittany said.

“We will have to try to catch in­sects for them and keep them warm.”

PHOTO: NOEL THOMP­SON

CRACK: Brittany, Ans­ley and Ethan Cle­ment were col­lect­ing baby birds that sur­vived the light­ning strike.

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